Hundreds of students based in Kent discovered the exciting and varied career opportunities the construction industry has to offer when they visited Skanska’s stand at the Kent Choices 4U Live event in Maidstone last week.
As one of the world’s leading construction firms, Skanska has operations in building, civil engineering, utilities, infrastructure services, piling, mechanical and engineering services and facilities management. Local students and jobseekers found there are many ways to kick start their career through apprenticeships, graduate opportunities and day releases programmes to name but a few.
Skanska’s Dave Grimshaw said: “With an organisation like Skanska there are so many career opportunities and we wanted to open young people’s eyes to the possibilities. Whether you are interested in leading people, project delivery or the environment there really is something for everyone.
“We went to the event to inspire the next generation, but in the end we were the ones who were inspired. It was really encouraging to see how enthusiastic the young people were when they were able to speak with some of our recent recruits, including new trainees, a quantity surveyor and a graduate environmental adviser. They realised that it didn’t matter what background they came from they could succeed.”
Lewis Darsey, Trainee Quantity Surveyor who joined Skanska in 2012 was pleased to be able to share his positive experience: “I have always wanted to become a quantity surveyor and as soon as I joined Skanska I knew this was where I wanted to start my career. My colleagues are friendly and very helpful, they encourage me to always ask questions and their answers provide me with the best knowledge I could hope for. I have already gained lots of experience and knowledge working on the high-profile Crossrail project at Paddington.”
As well as having the opportunity to speak with the team, the youngsters were encouraged to enter a number of competitions. Dave Grimshaw said: “We even ran a competition to see who could build the tallest tower from wooden blocks. Congratulations to the winners, two Year 9 pupils from Knole Academy, Sevenoaks and two year 12 pupils from Hartsdown Academy, Margate.”
Skanska considers the environmental consequences of everything it does and at the event the team encouraged the youngsters to post their sustainability promises on Skanska’s sustainability tree. The best pledge, as chosen by the Skanska team, was from a Year 9 Knole Academy student who promised to help endangered species to breed and become more numerous. Other activities included building a wheelbarrow and a career’s ladder for the students to post their career aspirations.
More than 100 exhibitors attended the two day event, with special guests including music legend Jools Holland. The event was opened by Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De Lisle.