It’s not been a great few months for the image of construction. Making headlines for the wrong reasons does nothing to encourage young people to consider a career in the industry. There must be huge frustration across the sector that the innovation, fantastic creativity and diversity that exists across the built environment spectrum is not getting the national media airtime it deserves.
There is some great work being done to encourage the next generation to choose a career path from an early age. Kier’s award winning Shaping Your World is targeting Generation Z as they move to senior school and encourages young people to stay enthusiastic about building things and being creative. CITB Scotland has just launched the Construction Manager Game for smartphones and tablets; connecting with the younger generation through a medium they engage with. Construction Excellence and GO Construct are all running admirable initiatives to target young people.
I’ve got another strategy. Get every under 18 in the land to watch Channel 4’s series, Building Giants.
If you’ve not seen it, watch it. Described as ‘following the race to build the world’s next generation of engineering wonders’ Building Giants marvels at the fantastic innovation that exists in construction and engineering. It tells the story of how some of the world’s largest, most complex and challenging projects unfold, and the scale is staggering.
The world’s most advanced sports stadium, the largest and most advanced cruise ship, fantastic skyscrapers, mega bridges, huge walls to protect Venice, vast tunnels and the construction of six massive towers 70 metres high on Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia. This series is all the advertising a global industry needs to inspire young people to get involved in an exciting and innovative world.
Mike Conway is a director at Camargue