School children from Blackley had chance to quiz staff from Russells Construction at a recent Meet the Professionals event.
Russells trainee Abbie Norton and project manager Dave Ford were among those to volunteer for the event at Our Lady RC High School.
Pupils from years 8 to 11 visited the Russells stand to meet the team and find out about careers in construction. Alongside chatting to youngsters individually, the pair hosted interactive sessions with the students sporting genuine Russells high-vis vests and hardhats.
Small pieces of handheld equipment – such as a heat sensor gun – were also passed around, to give help illustrate the wide range of jobs and roles within a construction business. And the students were given a ‘spot hazard’ test, finding potential dangers in a series of health and safety photographs.
Abbie, who is in her third year of the Russells Construction Building Student programme, said: “There was a lot of interest in construction from students of all ages, both boys and girls, and we fielded some great questions. Most had some idea about the industry, but wanted to know details like how to get into it, what training is available, what the salary is like and how much progression is possible.
“Being a trainee myself I was able to give them really up-to-date information about how to get into the industry, the training and progression expected. For example, I contacted Russells for work experience while I was still at sixth form and after the placement they suggested I apply for the professional traineeship. I’d recommended anyone really interested in construction should try to spend some time with a company like Russells to see for themselves if it is the career for them.
“It was great to talk about the company and some of the fantastic things we’ve got on right here in Manchester, it’s so much easier to show people the projects and tell them about what we do. The students seemed really inspired by the big high-rise projects like Axis and Oxygen, which are great examples to demonstrate the huge number of people, skills and expertise that goes into these buildings.
“I never had anything like this when I was in the lower years at school, and I certainly never saw a woman talking about construction, so I hope that our visit will perhaps open some eyes to the possibilities that really are available to everyone.”
Russells Construction supports a number of school and college career events throughout the year. If you are interested in partnering with Russells to help inspire the next generation of construction professionals, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and mark the email CAREERS EVENT ENQUIRY.