TV boost for construction recruitment

The construction industry is hoping a new primetime television show made by Norwich-based Anglia TV will encourage thousands of young people to consider a career as a builder or plumber.

RICHARD PARR

The construction industry is hoping a new primetime television show made by Norwich-based Anglia TV will encourage thousands of young people to consider a career as a builder or plumber.

Demolition Day is a new interaction game show produced for Channel Four and filmed on a purpose-built set amid the 450-acres of the National Construction College (East) at Bircham Newton.

The £1.3m show has been developed from an idea by Anglia producer Trevor Showler to create an exciting and fast-moving television show in which big boys and girls build up and knock down their big construction toys.

The show which is produced by Simon Howley, will be presented by Ed Sanders and Gia Milinovich who will provide commentary on the teams' progress .

A health and safety "enforcer" will be on hand to ensure that all teams work safety at all times and those not abiding by the safety rules can attract time penalties.

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And the prime-time TV series could well prove to the saviour of the construction industry where more than 70,000 skilled people need to be recruited each year over the next four years in order to service the country's demand for homes, shops and factories

National Construction College (East) marketing manager Andy Walder believes that linking up with the making of Demolition Day is vital to the future of the industry.

"We are confident that working with Anglia TV on this programme will go a long way towards helping us recruit more young people into the industry," he said.

There are shortages nationally which could be partly solved by the recruitment of more women and people from ethnic minorities into the variety of construction trades, from carpentry and plumbing to steeple jacking.

With its simple, yet clever format, 16 teams from within the country's construction industry gather on location and are faced with the challenge to build the strongest, toughest structure they can from a given set of materials and their efforts are filmed over a three-day period.

The structures they have to put up include water towers, bridges, bunkers, and pyramids.

On the fourth day the two teams swap structures, and armed with their chosen weapons of mass destruction begin the race to see which team can reduce the structures to rubble.

The teams have been selected following audition and selection from around 1000 applicants and each team will include members with some engineering, construction and demolition experience.

The series is due to be shown next summer.

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