ISG challenges industry perceptions with WOWEX initiative

10 January 2017

ISG has successfully secured funding under the Construction Industry Training Board’s (CITB) Innovation and Prototypes Funding Stream to develop a week of work experience activity called ‘WOWEX’ for young people interested in a career in construction. The contractor has developed the WOWEX materials and will trial and refine them with four different groups of students over this academic year. After this the materials, and the guidance notes on how to use them effectively, will be given to CITB for distribution to the entire industry. The hope is that hundreds of students will benefit from them in future.


 

The WOWEX group placement comprises a week-long series of activities designed to highlight the full spectrum of career opportunities available within construction management. As part of the initiative, students experience a site visit, a series of presentations from business development, planning, surveying and project management professionals, and an introduction of the real-world tools and techniques used in 21st century main contracting.

After the funded period, the WOWEX materials and guidance will be made available to the whole industry via CITB. This resource will include information and strategies specifically designed for construction companies to help overcome the practical limitations of providing work experience. More broadly, the WOWEX campaign joins other industry initiatives in helping change perceptions of careers within the built environment sector.

A taster session for the placement was held with students from Buile Hill School in Salford earlier this year. This resulted in great feedback, with 77% of attendees agreeing that their eyes had been opened to the opportunities of working in the industry. The first WOWEX placement was successfully delivered to students from Stockport College at ISG’s Manchester offices in October 2016.

One Stockport College student commented: “I enjoyed the whole thing. I like how we are actually doing the real thing on a smaller scale and how everything links together.”

Mike Lavelle, Tutor from Stockport college commented: “The range of activities covered by ISG will prove invaluable as the students work through the curriculum and are able to relate directly to the scenarios and experience from WOWEX.”

Gillian Brewin, Strategic Partnerships Manager at CITB, commented: “We are absolutely committed to getting more young people interested in construction and attracting the best talent into the sector, and the WOWEX project will do just that. ISG has shown great leadership in solving the industry’s future skills needs, by showing the range of exciting career opportunities available in construction. I look forward to working with the team at ISG and seeing the project’s positive impact on the industry.”

The next WOWEX week will be held at ISG’s Manchester office from 20-24 February 2017 for students aged 16-20. For more information, email wowex@isgplc.com.

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