Work Experience at Construction Youth Trust

James Meredith (16 years old), experienced 1 week of work at Construction Youth Trust and below is an enthusiastic description of his time with us.

There was one feature that stood out for me whilst I was doing work experience at Construction Youth Trust, from meetings with prospective donors and teaching in the Budding Builders and Budding Brunels courses to each member of the Trust explaining what they do on a day to day basis: Passion. Everyone at Construction Youth Trust is ardently passionate about every aspect of their work, chiefly helping young people into the vast array of jobs offered in the construction industry.

I was able to gain a valuable insight into all the tireless work done at the trust during the week, culminating in a trip to hear the end product of a Budding Brunels course where, after three days with industry volunteers from the Canals and Rivers Trust, the students were presenting their ideas for building a new footbridge in Stratford. I was intrigued by the creative solutions they demonstrated in the models of their bridges and the clarity and confidence of their deliveries. This allowed me to experience first-hand the fruits of the Budding Brunels scheme and this helped me to understand not only how to deliver an inspiring and captivating pitch but also how it is essential to constantly keep in mind the impact of construction upon the wider community. I was also able to understand the difficulty that charities such as Construction Youth Trust face with organising these three day events and how much organisation and planning must go into them when I went with Deavon, the Schools and FE Project Co-ordinator, to see a British Land construction site and hear him pitch the course to an audience of teachers at local schools who wanted their students to become involved. It was very interesting to hear the plans for the course, sponsored by British Land, and to see the wealth of teambuilding activities that they had planned, including a site visit, which made me understand the importance of allowing everyone into construction and fighting discrimination, in order to diversify the industry.

The idea of diversification is a key part of the charity as the Trust aims to give all young people, irrespective gender and background, a chance in construction, hence their widely supported campaign, #notjustforboys, which has had huge success with getting more women into  a predominantly male dominated industry, helping to promote equality, a very important aspect of daily life. Lucinda and Vicky, the Marketing and Communications Manager and the Business Development Co-ordinator, explained the importance of promotion equality in construction and also the fundraising aspect of the charity which I had not previously thought of as a key role. They explained the different fundraising events that the trust runs throughout the year and I was even able to attend a Go Construct meeting, held by CITB, which highlighted the importance of customer feedback and discussion in the development of their website, containing vital construction information for young people wishing to enter the industry. Standing out and making sure that people know about the charity is very important to the life of the Trust and I learned that the leaflets, tweets and opinion pieces in various building magazines are all key to being able to raise awareness about all the work that the charity is doing.