GRAHAM has provided a unique insight into civil engineering for 55 secondary school students as part of an action-packed virtual work experience day.
GRAHAM’s Belfast Transport Hub (BTH) Enabling Works team facilitated the interactive session for pupils from across the UK in partnership with Speakers for School, a charity founded by well-known broadcaster, Robert Peston.
The BTH Enabling Works project involves the delivery of essential engineering work to clear the Hub site in preparation for the main build – a multi-million, transformational scheme that will regenerate an eight-hectare city centre site into a modern, high quality integrated transport hub.
Members of the BTH Enabling Works project team were joined by experts in Environmental, Digital Construction and Social Impact to pass on their experiences of civil engineering, and to discuss the various roles and rewarding careers the construction industry has to offer.
The students also enjoyed a virtual tour of the BTH site, led by Site Agent, Ryan Hill, who explained the realities of working on a live engineering project.
The implementation of emerging technologies, the responsibility of contractors to make a meaningful contribution in tackling climate change, and practical advice on writing CVs and interview techniques were further topics of the informative day.
BTH Enabling Works Project Manager, Eunan O’Kane, praised the enthusiasm of the 55 students. He said:
“Civil engineering offers a wide range of opportunities and it is an industry which welcomes individuals with a broad range of skills, interests and talents. This full day event presented us with the opportunity to give students an insight into key onsite roles and also into the different departments that play a major part in ensuring the success of a complex civil engineering project like the Belfast Transport Hub. The students were very engaged throughout and it was a pleasure for GRAHAM to be involved in this interactive day.”
A further enlightening session on the different routes into the industry was led by graduate Site Engineer, Rachel Woodward, and student civil engineers, Curtis Pollock and Dillon McKenna.
They informed the students about their first-hand experiences within civil engineering, the various study options available, tips on how to achieve a work-study balance and practical examples of the support they had gained through the GRAHAM Academy.
Commenting on how we are committed to the Buy Social approach and helping to maximise the social value delivered through public contracts, GRAHAM Social Impact Business Partner, Attracta Mathews, said:
“In Northern Ireland, the Buy Social model provides an entry point for students and graduates to start a career in construction. This virtual platform was an excellent forum to showcase how the Belfast Transport Hub Enabling Works project has supported Buy Social opportunities for these students and graduates, who in turn are supported to grow and develop through our own GRAHAM Academy. Our Academy students and graduates are in a unique position to inform, encourage and inspire other young people to follow in their footsteps.”
Speakers for Schools
This was the third virtual work experience event hosted by us in collaboration with Speakers for Schools.
Jill Crawford, Head of Engagement NI for Speakers for Schools, stressed the importance of inspiring the “next generation” into construction. She said:
“Speakers for Schools is delighted to be partnering with GRAHAM to deliver quality virtual work experiences to young people across the UK. This is a great opportunity to inspire the next generation of young people into a career in the construction industry and inform them of the vast opportunities it offers. We look forward to partnering with GRAHAM on future projects.”
A special thanks to all the contributors/presenters: