ISG delivers sixth WOWEX in two years

15 June 2018

ISG’s World of Work Experience (WOWEX) programme is celebrating its sixth intake of pupils, having supported 78 students from across the North West over the last two years.

ISG’s World of Work Experience (WOWEX) programme is celebrating its sixth intake of pupils, having supported 78 students from across the North West over the last two years. 

Developed as part of ISG’s commitment to leave a lasting legacy in the communities it works in, the week-long programme sees students gain a taste of life in the construction industry. 

The most recent session saw 13 pupils aged 15-17 from several different schools and colleges spend five days following the process of tendering for a project to final pitch, with a visit to a live construction site as part of the programme.

The students visited the Plymouth Grove School project in Manchester, which ISG is currently delivering as part of a wider schools programme with Manchester City Council, through the North West Construction Hub framework. 

The initiative was established with the help of £28,443 in Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) funding for innovation. ISG’s head of social value Vicky Hutchinson planned to design, develop and pilot a course of stimulating activities that would give a flavour of real work in a range of construction careers. 

Speaking about the development of the programme, Vicky said: “We brought in an education consultant who interviewed widely across our job roles to create exciting course content and activities that would appeal to children, young people and adults alike.

“The WOWEX course that emerged centres around a hypothetical project to build a small industrial unit. Participants compete in groups as fictional companies, bidding against each other to get the contract. 

“Each day the task progresses and the career roles change, from bid development, design, estimation, risk assessment, and project management – all the aspects of a typical construction project.”

The project has been hugely successful, with participants giving glowing feedback - almost 9 out of 10 attendees said they would consider a career in construction following the course, up from fewer than 4 out of 10 beforehand.

The materials to deliver WOWEX courses have been made available to the wider construction industry through the CITB, with the initiative continuing to be rolled out across ISG, with teams holding their first session in Yorkshire later this year. 

To find out more about WOWEX see the video below: