Willmott Dixon creates career opportunities for construction students

Two Oaklands students have embarked on exciting careers in construction after Willmott Dixon delivered free employability sessions at college.

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Willmott Dixon has been running a five-week enrichment programme for 162 Oaklands College students. 

The construction specialists transforming Oaklands’ St Albans Campus created a bespoke learning programme for Level 2 and Level 3 Construction Management and Engineering students, designed to support them with industry knowledge, personal branding, interview, CV and LinkedIn skills.

Students were able to engage with construction industry experts and partake in virtual tours of a variety of exciting Willmott Dixon projects. In addition, students were given an insight into the importance of assessment days and meeting client expectations – Invaluable insight for Level 3 students looking to enter paid employment within the industry.

The programme designed by Willmott Dixon was delivered in-line with the eight Gatsby benchmarks; offering a stable careers programme, bespoke to engineering and business within construction, including linking the curriculum learning to careers that students are working towards, including encounters with employers and employees to talk about their roles and responsibilities.

Alongside the programme, Natalie Sidey, a social value manager at Willmott Dixon also met with students to deliver a series of personal guidance and mentoring sessions to students who were able to begin interview stages, after passing both video interviews and employer assessments stages. The guidance enabled students to look for the positive in themselves, understand what employers would be looking for and how to translate their skills and knowledge.

As a result of these sessions, two students have now gained full-time employment with Willmott Dixon.

Jacqui Chaston, lecturer in Core Skills at Oaklands College said:

“When some of my students came on video and then started asking questions and engaging in the interview question and answering session, I was amazed. It gave them the confidence to take part in a safe environment and with an employer.”

Students gave fantastic feedback from the sessions with one student commenting:

“I enjoyed talking about all the roles in construction and what they do, I also enjoyed being able to ask questions to a person who is in the industry”. Another student said how it will help them going forward, “Being informed about how to do an interview was useful, as I feel like I would struggle with this without these sessions.”

Oaklands hopes the success of both Tasmin Owen and Daniel Wickenden will inspire other students in Construction Management and Engineering looking to follow in their footsteps.

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