On 10th February 2016, McGee welcomed a group of students from the Dallaglio Foundation’s RugbyWorks programme to their demolition site at Southbank Place on the South Bank of the River Thames, and just a stone’s throw from the famous London Eye.
With a full agenda prepared for the day, the main objective was to introduce the construction industry and possible career paths available.
Head of Social Responsibility, Marc Byrne, introduced the day and outlined the many developments McGee are involved in and the vast input it takes from various different teams to get a site ready before demolition works can begin.
Matt Ryan, Dallaglio Foundation’s Coach & Employability Coordinator, said: “The group were amazed with the amount of jobs and responsibilities talked about in this session and it was great to see how excited our young people were for the day ahead.”
Project Manager, Scott Exell, talked about McGee’s work at Southbank Place which was followed by an hour long tour of the site. Both staff and students received a welcome pack from McGee which included a hard hat, steel toe capped boots, gloves, safety goggles and a high-vis jacket. After a safety briefing by Health & Safety Manager, Sean Cook, the tour included observing all of the different areas of the site, and the different job roles involved in the project – from Banksmen, Lorry Drivers and Machine Drivers to Site Supervisors and Health & Safety personnel. The group even got to see the site from a bird’s eye view to demonstrate the scale of the project.
After the site tour, lunch was served followed by a workshop by McGee’s Learning & Development Manager, Lenka Saggers. This was designed to inspire the young people into possibly following a career in the construction industry; and information was provided about the varied career paths available. The workshop also included hearing from real people, specifically someone who had managed to climb the ladder to Site Supervisor, was inspiring and demonstrated to the young people how hard work, combined with commitment, can be rewarded with such roles.
Commenting after the visit, Matt said: The day was specifically tailored to our young people’s needs and because of this they were very excited by the number of different career paths and job opportunities available with each of them expressing a different interest in the industry.
“From the outset McGee was incredibly welcoming. On behalf of the RugbyWorks team we would like to extend a huge thanks to McGee for delivering an inspiring and interactive day and being so generous with their time and resources. It was very much appreciated by students and staff alike.”
Emma Attwood, McGee’s Marketing & Communications Manager, worked with Matt to organise the day. She commented: “It was pleasing to hear the young people found the visit to Southbank Place enjoyable and interesting. The McGee team really enjoyed hosting the visit. If only one person took something positive from the day and is inspired to go onto a career in the construction industry it makes it all really worthwhile. We look forward to working with Dallaglio Foundation again in the future.”
Dallaglio Foundation was set up in 2009 by professional rugby player Lawrence Dallaglio, and exists to nurture and develop the essential skills of disengaged young people. RugbyWorks targets teenagers aged between 14 and 16, and works in 16 Pupil Referral Units in 12 London boroughs, as well as units in Newcastle, Bristol and Wales. Pupil Referral Units are mostly made up of children who have been excluded from mainstream schools, and are often deprived or vulnerable. Under the foundation’s programme, rugby coaches also act as mentors and support workers.
To learn more about the work of the Charity, please visit www.dallagliofoundation.com