Kier helps kickstart national scheme to get young people into construction

Kier has hosted an exclusive preview of Open Doors 2024, a Build UK initiative that lets young people and those looking for a change of career experience construction first-hand. 

A group of students from Fulham Cross Academy were given an exclusive insight into what a career in construction might look like as they toured Kier’s Refinery development at ARC West London, in Hammersmith, and put their questions to the team.

Refinery is a high-spec lab development which will provide a new home for UK life science organisations. 

The Considerate Constructors Scheme-registered site located on the Northern Embankment of the River Thames will create flexible laboratories and will create job opportunities within science and research-based specialisms, together with many facilities including cycle facilities for 200 bicycles and a new communal park integrating with the Thames Path. 

Kier has partnered with Build UK to open up a number of construction sites for next year’s Open Doors event, which will run across the country from Monday, March 13 to Saturday, March 18. 

A wide range of organisations will be taking part, offering site visits across the UK, with projects ranging from tunnels to skyscrapers, as well as offices, factories and other facilities to demonstrate the off-site roles across the sector.

At the recent event, students studying construction and DT at the STEM specialist school in Fulham heard from six apprentices currently on emerging talent programmes within Kier. 

Programmes include Level 2 - 3 apprenticeships, degree apprenticeships and graduate schemes.

Louisa Finlay, Kier Group’s chief people officer, said: “The construction industry is vital to the UK economy and provides so many different roles and opportunities for people from all walks of life. 

“Open Doors is a great initiative and Kier is proud to partner with Build UK to showcase the different careers on offer.  

“It was great to share my own experiences of working in the sector for 35 years and listen to students about their career aspirations, some of whom are already starting their training on construction-related courses.”

Julie White, Build UK chair and managing director of D-Drill (Master Drillers), added: “Having grown up visiting construction sites with my father, I know what a difference seeing our industry in action makes. 

“Open Doors is a unique opportunity for young people and those looking for a change of career to go behind the scenes of sites and other workplaces up and down the country and see what a career in construction looks like.

“Sites like Kier’s Refinery are a great example of how a diverse and talented team of people come together to deliver something special, and I would encourage the whole construction supply chain to follow their lead and open their doors next March to inspire the next generation to choose a career in our fantastic industry!”

During the week-long programme of events for Open Doors 2024, visitors will get a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes and see the range of careers available in construction, including thousands of apprenticeship places. 

In addition to familiar site-based roles, many of the positions available are based externally, with companies able to showcase their back-office support network, front-of-house sales teams, and cutting-edge technical roles.

Almost 100 events are already registered for visitors to explore throughout Open Doors Week and booking will open on the Open Doors website on January 8.

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