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Russell WBHO Building Students on a school visit
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Supporting schools and promoting construction careers

Hundreds of young people are benefiting from Russell WBHO social value initiatives

Russell WBHO is continuing its support for young people in the local area with a series of recent careers visits to schools in Wigan, Rochdale, Liverpool and Cheadle.

Hundreds of students at St Peter’s Catholic High School in Wigan had the chance to meet with a variety of businesses at their annual whole school careers where children from Year 7 to 11 can find out about a range of different career options.

Russell WBHO Building Students Alfie-Jack and Lizzie represented the construction industry and talked to pupils about what they do as trainee construction professionals working on multi-million pound projects across the North West.

The pair outlined the different types of jobs available with the company, from site and  office based project roles, to business functions like accounts, marketing, legal, human resources and administration.

And they discussed their own route into the industry, via Russell WBHO’s fully-funded five-year degree apprenticeship programme, and the firm’s drive to increase diversity of the workforce by attracting more women and people from non-traditional backgrounds.

Varied, interesting and really exciting

Alfie-Jack said: “It was good fun there was quite a bit of interest for construction which was great to see. We ran a little competition to win some chocolate treats if they could guess how many bedrooms there are at our Municipal Hotel project in Liverpool. That helped get the conversation going and some had really good questions about the project, and what exactly we do in our job. It was nice to be able to tell them about how varied, interesting and really exciting it can be.”

Quantity Surveyor John Cassidy has also been working with the school to support the Year 11 Mock Interviews, helping ready students for the future. He said: “Interviews can be a nerve wracking experience, especially the first few, so it’s really important young people get the chance to have a practice with someone working in the industry they aspire to join. It was a pleasure to meet those youngsters already interested in a construction career and provide some guidance which will hopefully help them to secure a job in the future.”

Nova Maloney, futures coordinator at St Peter’s sent a letter of thanks to the company.

She said: “Thank you to the representatives from Russell WBHO for supporting our careers fair and mock interviews. We believe in raising aspiration and enabling all pupils to explore the vast opportunities that are open to them. In particular, thank you for taking part in the Mock Interview evening, the Year 11 pupils gain such valuable knowledge from these meaningful interactions.”

Social Value in Action

Alfie-Jack was also in action at Kingsway Park High School in Rochdale with colleague Neil Walker, design manager for sister company Russell LDP. The pair attended on the invitation of the Rochdale Development Agency as part of the company’s commitment to providing additional social value benefits to the community alongside the HPARK and South Heywood Masterplan developments.

They provided a broad overview of the different roles people play across the business, and showed how major developments can support new jobs, economic growth, and benefits for all.

Neil said: “We want to thank the RDA and Kingsway High for inviting us to the careers fair. We met some very engaging students who were interested in the diverse career paths available within the development and construction industry, and we were happy to provide practical career advice and guidance on how to get into the industry.”

North West Construction Hub

Quantity surveyor Emma Moss and Social Value Manager Liesel McQueen recently represented the North West Construction Hub at a Women In Business careers event with Year 9 pupils at  Bellerive FCJ Catholic Girls school in Liverpool.

The event also featured representatives from the police force, marketing agencies, project management consultants, tax accountants and careers advisors. In all, 22 groups of pupils took it in turn to quiz the guests and were challenged to guess what job they did.

Emma said: “Most of the girls didn’t have any idea what we did, they didn’t think ‘construction’ when they saw Liesel and I. We were able to show them the different roles they could do, from project management to quantity surveying, accounts to marketing, HR to bid management, which really opened their eyes. Our message was really simple, this career exists, it’s perhaps not what you thought it was, and you could definitely do it if you want to.”

State Talking

Managing estimator Aidan Bannon took part in a recent Careers Café event at St James’ RC High School in Cheadle Hulme. He met Year 9 pupils to discuss working in construction, it was the latest in a series of school visits Aidan has undertaken on behalf of the company in support of State Talking.

State Talking is an educational charity committed to increasing opportunities for young people at state schools in Greater Manchester and across the North West. The charity sends relatable role models to speak with children and young people to help inspire their career ambitions.

Russell WBHO is the headline sponsor for State Talking. For more information about the charity click here.