Site tour inspires students to consider construction industry careers

School pupils have been inspired to consider exciting career options in the fields of development, construction and engineering during a behind-the-scenes tour of a local building project.

Pupils and teachers from All Saints Junior School in Hessle and Hessle High School visited the latest building under construction at the nearby Bridgehead business park.

The tour was organised by the developers of Bridgehead, Hull-based regeneration company Wykeland Group, in partnership with local contractor PDR Construction, which is building a new headquarters for office technology business IT@Spectrum.

The visit was the latest example of Wykeland’s extensive and highly-successful engagement programme with the Hessle schools and St Nicholas Junior School in Beverley, which is located near Wykeland’s Flemingate centre.

IT@Spectrum has chosen Bridgehead as the launchpad for its next phase of growth and work on the company’s new offices is set for completion later this year.

Twenty eight pupils, aged 9-10, from All Saints attended the construction site visit, along with 18 students, aged 14, from Hessle High. Hosted by David Donkin, Wykeland’s Property Director, project architect Andy Gilgunn and Tim Davison, Commercial Director at IT@Spectrum, the students enjoyed a lively programme of talks and engineering-related activities as well as having the opportunity to meet a wide range of tradespeople as they toured the construction site.

Mr Donkin said: “These site visits continue to strengthen Wykeland’s relationship with local schools and enable teachers to offer their students a rare insight into projects during construction.

“We find the students are very interested to find out more about major developments in their community and respond very positively to the opportunity to receive a behind-the-scenes tour.

“The Hessle students showed real enthusiasm on the construction site tour and were able to see all the different roles involved in bringing a design from the drawing board to reality.

“These young people could be the engineers, architects or construction managers of the future, so it’s important we give them the opportunity to meet people in such roles in real-life working environments. Visits like this are a great way to showcase the wide range of career options available to young people within the property development, construction and engineering sectors.”

Elaine Burke, Wykeland’s arts consultant, who co-ordinates and manages the site visits, said: “Wykeland’s commitment to investing in the futures of local school pupils is the driving force behind this ongoing programme of site visits.

“Teaching staff really value these visits as they make a very significant impact on the young people involved. The positive ripples they create can be very far-reaching indeed, for example, by actively helping young people to find focus about their future directions and inspiring them to think big about what they want in their lives.

“Evidence shows that connecting younger children with the world of work at an early age helps develop their aspirations and open up their futures.”

On completion of the tour, the Hessle High students branched off to visit their collection of mini-moths in Bridgehead’s woodland trail. Installed to accompany one of the giant moths sponsored by Wykeland as part of the Amy Johnson Festival, Hessle High’s “techno” moths were created with 100% recycled materials and will be on display until September.

Close to 600 people will be employed at Bridgehead by the end of the year. IT@Spectrum will share its new building with sister company, IT services and telecoms company The One Point. The two businesses will join Beal Homes, bathroom retailer Victoria Plum, the John Good Group of companies, laser firm Rofin-Sinar and design-to-print graphic services company SGS International at one of the region’s most sought-after business locations.

Pupils from Hessle High School hear are briefed on the IT@Spectrum construction project by Wykeland’s Project Architect, Andy Gilgunn, second right,and Wykeland’s Property Director, David Donkin.