LHC’s young professionals urge students to ‘Step In and Step Up’ to construction

South Devon College students have learnt first-hand about the wide range of careers in one of the fastest growing industries in the country.

A hundred young people aged 16-18 spoke to professionals working in construction, and listened as each spoke about their own experiences, including two rising stars from LHC; Urban Designer, Amy Walton and Architectural Technologist, Tasmine Graffy.

Watch Tasmine here and Amy here

The event was organised as part of the Step In Step Up project which aims to attract people into the expanding construction sector in the South West.

Adele Dawson, Assistant Principal at the college, said:

It has been calculated that construction in the South West will create around 6,500 jobs a year until the end of the decade, and more than half of these roles will be senior, professional and office based. We want to raise awareness of the great opportunities that are available in this sector, and to dispel the impression that construction is limited to trades such as bricklaying and plumbing.

Step In Step Up will help people in other jobs who are looking for a change use their existing skills to find a new career in the region’s booming construction sector.

Speaking to the students Amy said:

I would recommend construction as a career because it is exciting to work in an industry that influences the environment that people live in and can impact on people’s lives. My advice to people starting a career in construction would be to do as much research as possible, do as much work experience as possible, figure out exactly what you want to do, so you can do something you really enjoy.

In her talk Tasmine said:

There are many roles within the industry you may have not even heard of yet. I see no reason why women shouldn’t play an active role within the construction industry. Don’t let your sex or stereotypes choose your career, choose something you will enjoy being a part of.

Sarah Lockhart is one of more than 30 people who have already been helped by Step In Step Up to find a new job, placement or training since it launched in July this year. Sarah works at the JobCentre Plus in Exeter Street, Plymouth, and after 11 years was looking for a change.

She heard about Step In Step Up through the Plymouth Construction Job Shop in Mayflower Street and decided to see what was available.

Now Sarah will be starting with Kier Construction, one of the main sponsors of the project, in January. She’ll be training as an estimator. Sarah said:

The Step In Step Up programme will look at transferrable skills in your current job role to find the most suited position within the construction sector. The programme will guide and support you to choose the right career path.

I’ll be spending two days a week on site, one day distance learning, and two days a week getting work experience with the team of estimators, building up my knowledge base and understanding, so I’ll know how the process works from start to finish.

For more information about the project please visit the Step In Step Up website