How Willmott Dixon is opening doors for young people
24 Sep 2021
Hear from our Cornerstone Employer, Willmott Dixon, about how they are inspiring young people to learn about the construction industry through Open Doors Week.
Open Doors Week is just round the corner. From Monday 4 until Saturday 9 October 2021, Open Doors will be offering site visits across the UK as well as a wide range of live virtual experiences with the aim to inspire young people into the world of construction.
Willmott Dixon is a privately-owned contracting and interior fit-out group. Founded in 1852, our purpose is to deliver brilliant buildings, transform lives, strengthen communities, and enhance the environment so our world is fit for future generations.
In 2020, we launched Now or Never, our sector-leading sustainability strategy. Within Now or Never is our Building Lives theme, which is all about supporting community, business, and people. It is key that we always balance what we can do with what is important to the community.
Open Doors Week
Open Doors Week enables us to show the communities in which we work what goes on behind the hoardings. It also forms part of a wider suite of programmes, including careers talks, work experience, employability training programmes and apprenticeships, to attract the next generation, present our industry as a great place to work and show the diversity of careers available. This is really important to address the skills shortage and increase the diversity of people in the industry.
Martine Corbett, Community Engagement Manager, Willmott Dixon London & South
This is really important to address the skills shortage and increase the diversity of people in the industry.
Martine Corbett, Community Engagement Manager, Willmott Dixon
Having such a strong relationship with The Careers & Enterprise Company and being a Cornerstone Employer, means that we have not only connected with large numbers of people, but we have fostered long-term relationships with schools and individuals. This has enabled us to show that there are roles in construction for everyone – from those who are studying at University or their A-Levels and those that have decided that route isn’t for them. Our popular Management Trainee Programme gives trainees the option to gain real, on-the-job experience whilst studying towards their career of choice.
Finding different ways to engage
In 2019, we were able to reach over 400 people through Open Doors. Then the world changed, and we had to find different ways to connect with people in a safe but engaging way.
This year, we are delighted to safely open more than 30 of our sites across England and Wales, as well as hosting a range of virtual events. Key highlights include the £54m LTE Group's Manchester city centre campus, the Millfield Green Net-Zero Carbon Retirement Village in Bedfordshire, the iconic EMD Cinema in Walthamstow, our own Building Information Modelling (BIM) cave in Nottingham and our Somerset Road project adjacent to tennis landmark, Wimbledon.
In addition to opening our sites, we are welcoming students, tutors and careers advisors to our Weybridge office, so they can see the breadth of careers our industry has to offer. Students studying core subjects may not have considered a role within construction, but there are a range of transferrable skills. From sustainability and the environment to IT, communications or estimating. There really is a career for everyone.
Regardless of whether young people choose to work in our industry or not, we want to help individuals make more informed choices about their careers and demystify what is going on at site. We look forward to seeing you there.
Want to find out more? Contact Martine, here: firstname.lastname@example.org