Construction industry in Suffolk 'should grow considerably' over next decade, students told
PUBLISHED: 15:06 18 February 2019
Developing the next generation of construction workers is "vitally important", a business boss said as industry leaders met with Suffolk sixth formers to encourage them into the sector.
Senior managers of local construction businesses met with the youngsters at a progression event at ONE sixth form college in Ipswich.
Suffolk Joint Construction Committee (SJCC), which is made up of professionals and businesses working across different construction disciplines locally, joined more than 69 UK universities exhibiting at the event.
Members of SJCC include the National Federation of Builders, Royal Institute of British Architects, Institution of Structural Engineers, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers.
Led and organised by James Potter, managing director of Ipswich-based Superstructures, the construction stand presented a unique opportunity for the students to speak directly to construction businesses in an informal setting and learn about career opportunities.
Mr Potter, an enterprise adviser, has an ongoing relationship with ONE and is working to increase social mobility in Ipswich and ensure young people progress onto ambitious career pathways regardless of their background.
“Developing and encouraging the next generation into the construction sector is vitally important and I would like to see construction skills at the forefront when careers are being decided,” he said.
“Our construction expertise in the county is among the best in the world and over the next decade and beyond, locally this industry is expected to grow significantly.”
Jordan Holder, enterprise coordinator at The Careers & Enterprise Company, which is part of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said Mr Potter’s role at ONE was to provide strategic direction to the careers team ensuring that students have more encounters with the world of work. “He volunteers to support the students at ONE to dream big,” he added.
Organiser Phil Page, of ONE, said the event offered constructive advice to students aimed at helping them progress. “About 40% of our students don’t go to university, so this year we invited in a range of different employers,” he said.