Manchester construction firms encouraged to inspire next generation of workers

Last year's Manchester Inspire Summit

Construction, property, housing and engineering employers across Greater Manchester are encouraged to take part in Manchester Construction Careers Week this September to encourage students to consider a career in the sector.

Organised by Built Environment Skills in Schools (BESS), the focus of the careers week is gender and diversity.

The topic will be emphasised at the Inspire Summit, held on September 25, at the Bridgewater Hall, with keynote speaker Barbara Rees – the first woman to oversee the construction of a major skyscraper, Trump Tower.

With hundreds of students across the region expected to take part, BESS is urging businesses to get involved.

Taking groups of students on to suitable sites, tours around different built environments, or going into classrooms are some of the ways employers can get involved.

Another option is to deliver a digital broadcast, which works particularly well for sites or situations that aren’t suitable for children to visit.

Previous years have seen digital broadcasts from railway lines and from the top of a crane.

The organisers of the Inspire Summit are also looking for relevant businesses to get involved with the conference, with opportunities to speak, exhibit, sponsor and attend.

Kathryn Lennon-Johnson, founder of BESS, said: “Last year we held Construction Careers Week in Birmingham and had over 400 students take part in all kinds of activities.

“When we first met the students, on average only two per cent stated an interest in a role in construction and less than 10% could name job roles other than architect or bricklayer.

“After meeting with businesses and employers, 60% of students said they were surprised about the breadth of opportunities.”

She added: “Meeting and engaging with the students, whether on site or through the use of technology, is a vital step in attracting more young people into the sector, as well as making it more diverse and inclusive.

“With several schools and colleges across Greater Manchester taking part this year, it’s important we have as many different businesses on board as possible.”

For more information about getting involved with Manchester Construction Careers Week, visit: or