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Inspiring young people to consider careers in construction

Dallaglio Foundation’s RugbyWorks young people have been inspired to consider exciting career opportunities within the construction industry during a behind-the-scenes tour of McGee’s Leicester Square project in the heart of London’s West End.

Ten students, teachers and Dallaglio Foundation Coaches visited the project site on the 24th November, which was organised by McGee in coordination with the Dallaglio Foundation – an organisation that exists to deliver long-term intensive skills development programmes, based on the values of rugby, to 14-18 year olds outside of mainstream education.  The aim of the programme is to ensure that the young people achieve sustained education, employment and training.

The pupils enjoyed a lively agenda of talks and presentations, including a health and safety briefing, background information on the project, as well as learning more about how to begin a career in construction.

The highlight of the day – the pupils got the opportunity to tour the extensive site and got to take a closer look at the bulk dig that McGee is currently undertaking in Leicester Square.

Paul Murphy, Contracts Manager, said: “We were delighted to host the Employability Day for the Dallaglio Foundation.  The pupils were very interested and engaged throughout the day and they showed real enthusiasm when getting their PPE on to undertake the behind-the-scenes tour of our site where they witnessed the wide variety of job roles involved in bringing our client’s vision to reality.  It was also interesting to witness the reaction, when Malcolm and myself discussed what the construction industry was like when we started out, how the facilities and the Health and Safety has changed, for the better.”

Emma Attwood, Marketing & Communications Manager, who coorindates the site visits with the Dallaglio Foundation, said: “We understand that visits like these are a great way to showcase the many career options available to the young people within this exciting industry in which we work.  From Apprentices to Engineers, Designers to Construction Managers, these young people could be the stars of our future, so it is important to create inspiring opportunities like this, and for them to meet people in such roles in real-life working environments.  We hope that as a result of the day that we have helped to develop their aspirations and opened their minds to an industry they may never have considered previously.”

William, one of the pupils who attended the Employability Day, particularly enjoyed talking to members of the site management team about their experience of the industry.  He also enjoyed hearing about their varied careers and the different paths they have followed to get where they are today.  In fact, the day inspired William so much; he is already looking into applying for his CSCS card so that he can follow his aspirations to join an Apprenticeship Scheme.  William said: “I’ve done lots of trips with the school but this was the best one by far.  The coaches from the Dallaglio Foundation are helping me look at applying for my CSCS card already.”

Another pupil, Charlie, added: “I really enjoyed the trip and you could see how happy the people working for McGee were.  If construction was an area I wanted to work in I would definitely apply for a job with them.  The big pit was pretty cool and it’ll be good to go back one day and see the finished hotel!”

Matt Ryan RugbyWorks Coach and Employability Coordinator, added: “It was great to attend another Employability Day with McGee – this time at their Leicester Square project – and what a great day it was!  It was brilliant to see how engaged the pupils were throughout the day; I was very surprised at just how much genuine enthusiasm they showed all day long.

“I would like to echo Emma’s words that visits like these are a great way to showcase the many career options available to the young people that are involved on the RugbyWorks programme.  It really is important to create inspiring opportunities like these days and it is brilliant for our pupils to meet people in such roles in real-life working environments. These days have a huge impact on the development of our teenagers and can often spark an interest into a hugely exciting and positive choice.”

The visit was hosted by: Paul Murphy, Senior Contracts Manager, Emma Attwood, Marketing & Communications Manager, Lenka Saggers, Learning and Development Manager, Marc Byrne, Head of Social Responsibility, Malcolm Dennis, Construction Manager and Patrick Hennigan, Health and Safety Manager and is the latest example of McGee’s extensive community engagement programme.