Duchess hammers home construction careers message

The Duchess of Northumberland used a visit to a major building project in the county to hammer home a positive message about careers within the construction industry.

During a tour of the Weavers’ Court development in Alnwick she urged young people to take advantage of an initiative which showcases the wide range of job opportunities in the sector.

Open Doors – on March 6th and 7th – allows 16 – 24-year-olds to come and take a look at some of the country’s most exciting development sites and ask questions of those who work there.

Galliford Try Partnerships North, which is building the £5 million, 58 bedroomed Weavers’ Court Extra Care facility on behalf of Isos Housing, has selected the site – and The Sycamores housing scheme in Birtley – to be part of the initiative.

Duchess of Northumberland Weavers' Court
The Duchess of Northumberland at Weavers’ Court, Alnwick

The Duchess said:

“I am delighted to be able to meet so many young people who are making their way in the construction industry with Galliford Try and Isos.  These apprentices and trainees can, I am sure, look forward to a bright future in an industry which offers a wealth of career opportunities.

Of course there are brick layers, joiners, electricians and plumbers but also a host of other jobs which people might not necessarily think of.  In fact, one in ten people work in jobs related to the construction industry including architects, lawyers, financiers, IT specialists, safety experts, medical staff, human resources, sales and marketing.  The opportunities seem endless.

I know, as the construction sector recovers strongly from the recession, that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find people with the right skills to build the homes, offices and factories of tomorrow.  That is why it’s so important that young people are shown the exciting, challenging and rewarding futures which could await them in the industry.  I hope that many of them will come along to take advantage of this excellent opportunity.”

The Open Doors initiative is organised by the UK Contractors Group, the Scottish Contractors Group, the Industry Training Board and Sector Skills Council, the Construction Industry Training Board, the Chartered Institute of Building and the Considerate Constructors Scheme.

The aim is to attract bright young minds into a rapidly expanding industry and help bridge the skills gap which has developed.

Galliford Try has embraced the project and Managing Director, Stephen McCoy said:

“Construction today is unrecognisable to how it was a decade ago.  It has embraced new technology and modern methods of building and welcomed women to bring new skills sets.

There really are hundreds of construction related careers available and we want to attract the brightest young minds to fill these vacancies and ensure that the industry and our business succeeds in meeting the exciting challenges ahead.”

Keith Loraine, Group Chief Executive of Isos Housing, said:

“We are strong supporters of apprenticeships in the construction industry, and have recently taken on a new intake for our own four year, in-house apprenticeship scheme.

We believe there is a virtuous circle at work here. Not only do our apprentices get a top class grounding in their trade, but we also have a ready made supply of skilled tradesmen and women, available to step into permanent roles as and when they become available.”

Those wishing to attend the Open Doors events must contact Debra Phillips, Employment and Skills Manager at debra.phillips@gallifordtry.co.uk or on 0191 227 1000 / 07764 313 828.

To find out more, visit www.opendoorsweekend.co.uk