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Exploring construction careers

Sixth form students at the Crest Academy, Neasden had a fun Friday morning learning more about potential careers in the construction sector.  The event was part of Career Ready’s Think Build programme which is supported by a grant from the Edge Foundation.  Think Build brings together construction companies to give young people access to mentors, workplace visits and paid internships in the industry.   The aim is to support the development of a talent pipeline of work ready young people and help to address the diversity and gender in-balances within the construction sector.

The event at Crest Academy was an Icebreaker – the first opportunity for the 15 students signed up to the Career Ready programme to meet up with their industry mentors from the Wates and Arcadis organisations.

The day started with a round of personal introductions with mentors having to come up with a fun fact about themselves and the students identifying what they wish to get from the relationship.   This leap into public speaking was followed by a short – and rather tricky – quiz with each industry mentor teaming up with two students to outwit their colleagues with a mixture of general knowledge and construction based facts.  

Having built up a good team spirit, the young people were able to chat to the industry mentors and find out what career opportunities there were in construction.  Many of the students were surprised at the range of roles available including quantity surveying, town planning & traffic management and architect & design roles.  A number of the mentors were female and were highly enthused about the need to encourage females and different ethnicities into the industry.

The final task of the day was for the young people to arrange their next mentoring meeting.  Each student will meet their mentors around 10 times between February and December, with meetings taking place outside of the school – usually in the mentor’s workplace.  These are supplemented with 3 other meetings inside of school time.

Career Ready ensure all their industry volunteers are fully prepared to mentor the young people providing support and resources to ensure all mentors cover the key skills young people need such as understanding career pathways, preparing for interviews and getting the most out of the work placements and internships available through the programme.

The Crest Academy are very supportive in giving their pupils a range of interactions with employers.  Vanessa McCrossen, Head of Sixth Form and Lorna Jules, Sixth Form Support, organise a range of careers events alongside the Career Ready option.  They are dedicated to ensuring each pupil has information about their options whether that is progression to university or an apprenticeship or other route into employment and work with parents and wider family to ensure students are supported to finding the right option for them. 

For more information about the work of Career Ready and the range of programmes they support contact Anthony Bruton at or visit their website at