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Wates pilots a new kind of work experience

Wates has guided 39 students in London through what it claims is a new kind of work experience that offers young people a much broader opportunity to discover a career in construction.

Students from St John Bosco College in Wandsworth have completed an 11-week programme piloted by Wates Residential.

The Beacon Programme offers Year 12 students the opportunity to explore the careers they may wish to pursue at a much larger scale than traditional work experience programmes.

The programme covers 11 career routes to enable students to learn about a number of business functions, from project management to marketing and health and safety. 

The 16-17-year-old students participate in one five-hour session a week, delivered via a hybrid model which combines virtual sessions with travel to Wates offices where possible.

Cllr Rhodri Morgan (cabinet member for economic development, skills and employment at Wandsworth Council), Cllr Jonathan Cook (cabinet member for housing), Paul Dunne (headteacher, St John Bosco College), Lorraine Bennett (sixth form and careers lead, St John Bosco College), Danielle Buckley (community investment manager, Wates Residential), Andrew Savege (head of partnerships, Wates Residential) – with Year 12 students from St John Bosco College who took part in the Beacon Programme.

Wates said it hoped the programme would challenge preconceptions about the jobs available in construction and introduce students, teachers and their families to the diverse career opportunities within the industry, which they may not have otherwise considered. It aims to bridge the gap between sixth form and the experience needed to enter the world of work, by providing them with transferable skills that will set them up for future success. 

One student commented that the Beacon Programme “has allowed me to open my mind to new opportunities”, with another saying “I quickly picked up how I could incorporate what I have learnt to help me when applying for apprenticeships in the future”.

“We are committed to taking a local approach to projects, investing in training, education and skills, so that we can bring about real change and deliver lasting legacies in the communities where we operate.”

Danielle Buckley, Wates

Paul Dunne, headteacher at St John Bosco College, Wandsworth, said: “I am delighted that we’ve been able to provide this unique opportunity for our students through our partnerships with Wates. The practical hands-on experience that students are gaining is invaluable and is something that few students of their age get the chance to experience. Working together with Wates we are helping to equip the young men and women of today with the skills that they will need for the future.”

Danielle Buckley, community investment manager at Wates Residential and one of the creators of the pilot programme, added: “It has been brilliant to work with the students at St John Bosco College over the last 11 weeks, watching their skills and confidence develop.

“At Wates, we are committed to taking a local approach to projects, investing in training, education and skills, so that we can bring about real change and deliver lasting legacies in the communities where we operate. This programme is a perfect example of that ambition in action, and we cannot wait to meet the next cohort.”

A second cohort of students will start the programme on 21 February, completing on 19 May, with a graduation ceremony for all 81 students that have taken part. Any students that have excelled throughout the programme will be given the opportunity for further mentoring and support.

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Comments

  1. Well done Wates. I did a short works course of 4 days with the company in 1960 which led to a 50 year career in construction.
    Chris

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