With five major employers in Sheffield's construction and built environment industry signing up in 2015, Made In Sheffield is providing a higher quality of ambassador programme for the city's students, giving them a much needed insight into different industries for future careers.
Made in Sheffield started three years ago with the aim to provide a high quality Ambassador Programme that takes students from local schools and places them with employers from every employment sector; to learn more about that industry and develop fundamental skills to equip them in their future career.
Other industries that have been involved are engineering, computer science, health, retail and the arts. But in 2015, for the first time, the construction and built environment became involved and five major employers in Sheffield: BAM, Henry Boot, Kier, Keepmoat and the Sheffield Housing Company have become the ambassadors’ mentors for the programme. Backed by the Master of Cutler, this is a brand new strand of the ‘Made in Sheffield’ careers and education programme.
Adeana Raper of Henry Boot explained why the company is supporting the initiative: “We see the Made in Sheffield programme as an excellent way of introducing young people into the world of work, to experience the varied careers that the Construction Industry can offer and provide them with information so that they can make informed decisions regarding their future career paths.”
We see the 'Made In Sheffield' programme as an excellent way of introducing young people into the world of work.
ADEANA RAPER - HENRY BOOT
The Ambassadors' journey
There were 17 students selected after a rigorous application and selection process, conducted by the employers taking part in the programme. To help the successful new ambassadors feel the part, each were provided with their own Personal Protective Equipment (hardhat, hi-vis clothing and gloves) in a special naming ceremony. This is the start of a two year journey, where these ambassadors will be working alongside large construction businesses, learning new skills such as communication, resilience, and critical thinking – all transferrable to their studies and their future careers. This journey will also allow them to explore the breadth and variety of jobs available within the industry and how the world of work actually operates.
These students have been given access to projects not normally open to the public and able to see the progress being made on them, including the hospital’s new helipad, and Sheffield’s second University Technical College. One of the ambassadors, Muhammed said, “I applied for the Construction Strand of Made In Sheffield to get work experience and to see how many jobs there are in construction. I hope to learn new skills and make new friends. I am looking forward to going to construction sites and seeing people working.”
In return for this unprecedented access to exciting and new construction projects, ambassadors have been asked in return to represent their school and the ‘Made in Sheffield’ programme at a series of events, and also to share their new knowledge and experience with their peers. Once they have successfully completed the programme, they’ll receive a ‘Skills Passport’ signed by the employers, their head teacher and the Master Cutler.
A new perspective
Speaking about their achievement in becoming Made in Sheffield ambassadors, Mike Garnock-Jones at Sheffield City Council who delivers the programme in partnership with the Cutlers’ Company said:
“These students should be extremely proud that they have achieved a place as a Made in Sheffield Ambassador. Across the country the construction industry will create over 220,000 new jobs over the next 5 years, including 3,220 jobs across Yorkshire and the Humber alone so the extension of the programme into this sector comes at a crucial time.”
“We are delighted to be a part of a fantastic programme which will ensure our students are better equipped for the world of work,” said Claudia Whyte, Student Support Officer at Fir Vale Academy “Working with the different construction companies, they will gain valuable life skills, work experience and an understanding of the range of different careers which the construction & built environment has to offer."
I am looking forward to going onto construction sites and seeing people working.
Muhammed - Made in Sheffield Student Ambassador