Award-winning Building My Skills programme returns

Over 1,900 students benefit as long-established careers guidance initiative returns to schools.

Award-winning employability programme, Building My Skills (BMS), has made its return to schools after a 20-month hiatus due to the pandemic.

For 2022’s National Careers Week, a group of North East businesses have re-introduced the initiative – founded more than 10 years ago by Esh Construction, Ryder and Arup – which aims to showcase a variety of sectors, raise aspirations and boost employability skills.

The careers guidance programme has been re-launched with the support of ‘OneVoice’ – a regional collaboration which seeks to drive positive change in the construction industry.

The everchanging career landscape brings with it the need for a fresh perspective. The programme sees long-serving business partners return and an influx of new businesses come together to deliver quality careers and employability information to over 1,900 students from 12 NELEP schools in Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland and Sunderland.

Year 10, 11 and Sixth Form students will receive three timetabled workshops, where speakers will offer insights into the sector, their own career pathways and employability skills they value. An interview and opportunities day will round off the programme in June.

Darush Dodds, Corporate Affairs Director at Esh Construction, said: “Since its conception, BMS has provided over 2,000 free, high-quality workshops to over 50,000 students. The combination of the pandemic subsiding, revived interest from long-standing business partners and the chance to partner with OneVoice provided the perfect opportunity to relaunch our new model ahead of a full roll out from September.

“Programmes which bring together business and education are integral in helping students make informed decisions about their future and develop employability skills that all employers value.”

Nik Turner, Executive Director Believe Housing and Chair of OneVoice People Group, said: “The OneVoice construction strategy aims to provide an inclusive culture within the North East construction sector with the themes of climate, people and value underpinning our aims. We believe it is important that we continue to retain, reward, and celebrate our existing people, however, it is essential that we also attract new people into the sector.

“Our sector is exciting, innovative, and ever evolving; we hope to utilise BMS as the conduit between industry and students, to showcase the varied roles we offer and to become the sector of choice for young people taking the first steps on their career paths.”

Returning business partners include Accenture, North Wealth Management, North East Times, Mediaworks, Lloyds Bank and Turner & Townsend. New partners include Northumbrian Water Group, Bowmer & Kirkland, Gleeds and Believe Housing.

To bolster the programme, a digital platform has been developed to enhance the student experience and engage a much larger digital cohort.

Planning is now underway to expand into Tees Valley and enrol more schools for the next academic year.

To find out more information and get involved, visit: buildingmyskills.education.

Since its conception, BMS has provided over 2,000 free, high-quality workshops to over 50,000 students. Programmes which bring together business and education are integral in helping students make informed decisions about their future and develop employability skills that all employers value.”

Darush Dodds, Corporate Affairs Director at Esh Construction

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