From education to employment

VGC Group joins forces with charity to promote construction industry to students

(From L to R facing): Ciara Pryce, VGC group services director, Anthony Bruton, Career Ready regional manager (Camden and Islington), Swati Patel, VGC CSR manager, Anna Trocme Latter, Career Ready regional manager, London and South East (From L to R with their backs to the camera): Laura Perry, HR manager; Laurence Mckidd, managing director.

VGC Group has partnered with UK-wide charity Career Ready in an effort to inspire more young people to consider a career in construction.

Three VGC Group senior directors – managing director Laurence Mckidd, group services director Ciara Pryce and HR manager Laura Perry – have volunteered to join the charity’s local advisory boards, partnering with seven schools and one sixth form college in the London boroughs of Brent, Camden and Westminster.

To prepare students for the world of work all partner schools will benefit from bespoke construction related employability workshops, delivered by VGC Group’s skills and employment adviser, Kimberley McGinty.

In addition, two students will have the opportunity to undertake a four-week internship at VGC Group’s head office next summer.

Laurence Mckidd, managing director of VGC Group, believes the new partnership will complement the company’s existing schools engagement programme while helping to showcase the many rewarding career paths within the industry.

He said: “The construction industry is facing a skills shortage as not enough young people are taking up careers in the sector.

“I hope that our involvement with the charity’s local advisory boards will provide an even greater opportunity to showcase the industry’s vast array of career opportunities to the next generation. And I’m sure our new partnership will prove to be a very worthwhile and fulfilling journey.”

Recent research has highlighted that the overall appeal of the construction industry as a career option for young people is low, due to a perception that it is ‘male oriented, muddy and manual’ and most suited to ‘young people who do not get into college or university.’

Swati Patel, corporate social responsibility manager at VGC Group hopes the company’s new partnership will help to change attitudes amongst the younger generation.

She said: “We know that one of the best ways to communicate with young people is by engaging with school careers advisors and teachers. We believe that our school engagement programme and partnerships with pivotal partners like Career Ready will enable us to promote the opportunities and earning potential a career in construction can provide.”

The newly formed partnership will also guarantee that all partner schools adhere to four of the eight Gatsby Benchmarks – a framework used by schools to ensure appropriate careers provision is included in their curriculum.   

Anne Spackman, CEO at Career Ready, added: “Regular contact with employers can open a young person’s eyes to the range of careers available and the skills and attitude needed to get started.”

About VGCThe VGC Group provides people and delivers projects for the infrastructure, construction and rail industries. Divisions operate in all types of civil engineering environments including rail, road, utilities, nuclear and airports. The company’s behavioural safety programme and recruitment and staff development strategies have made VGC a key labour partner on major infrastructure projects across the UK.

As the first labour supplier to achieve the BRE 6002 Ethical Labour Sourcing Standard in 2018, VGC has demonstrated its commitment to eliminating modern slavery from the supply chain.

The company’s corporate social responsibility programme is focused on attracting new entrants to the industry, developing the workforce and supporting the wider community.   VGC’s ethical and sustainable approach to business is helping to make construction and infrastructure more diverse, safer and a preferred career choice.

About VGC Group School engagement programme: VGC Group’s schools engagement programme works with schools to raise awareness and promote the fantastic career opportunities within the construction industry and equip young people with the skills they need for the world or work.  Since January, VGC Group’s schools engagement programme has supported 2, 061 students in 29 schools across six London boroughs.  Two VCG staff have volunteered 22 hours of their time.

The programme adheres to four of the eight Gatsby benchmarks – a framework of eight guidelines about what makes the best careers provision in schools and colleges.

About Career Ready: Established in 2002, Career Ready connects employers with schools and colleges, providing internships, master classes and structured employer-led activities to prepare young people for the world of work.

Related Articles