With the construction industry under mounting pressure to address the widening skills shortage, Gleeds has announced it will be teaming up with educational charity, The Transformation Trust, on an initiative to attract more young people into the sector.

From 16th to 20th October, Gleeds staff across its 68 offices, from Manchester to Mumbai and Liverpool to Los Angeles, will aim to donate 7500 hours - the equivalent of over three working years – of their time as part of Gleeds’ annual ‘Global Challenge’ volunteering event.

In the UK, teams from across the country will be working with local secondary schools on a curriculum-aligned challenge that will culminate in a national competition. Students aged 11 to 14 will take part in a workshop managed by Gleeds staff, during which they will be asked to plan every aspect of a hypothetical construction scheme.

The best entries will then go forward into a national final, with winners selected by an exclusive panel including international sports icon, Gleeds ambassador, Sir Steve Redgrave and Gleeds Chairman, Richard Steer. The successful team will win a Q&A with Sir Steve on resilience and motivation.

Lord Andrew Stunell, the peer heading up a review of challenges faced by the construction industry post-Brexit, has lent his support to the programme, saying; “To meet the current skills shortage the UK construction sector must recruit one person every 77 seconds until the year 2021. If we are even going to come close to that we first need to engage with young people and I think this is a really fantastic way of showing off everything construction has to offer”.  

Richard Steer, Chairman of Gleeds Worldwide went on to say; “Our industry is facing a huge challenge in terms of recruiting new staff and it is up to us to try and change the misinformed perceptions, encouraging the next generation to take up careers in our industry. I am confident that this year’s Global Challenge can inspire students everywhere to look at construction in a new light and I can’t wait to see their imagination and creativity put on display”.

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Julian Barlow

Julian Barlow
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