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Budding Brunels

10 February 2016

Budding Brunels

Next generation of constructors get a taste of university life

The University opened its doors as part of a nationwide initiative designed to inspire the next generation of engineers and built environment professionals in to the construction industry.

Twenty Year 12 pupils from Cardiff and Caerphilly schools including Fitzalan High School, Cardiff High School, Lewis School Pengam, and Lewis Girls Comprehensive School, took part in the three-day Budding Brunels engagement programme run by the Construction Youth Trust.

Funded by Network Rail the course presented an opportunity for collaboration with the University’s School of Engineering department, who hosted and supported two days of the course.

With the aim of informing and inspiring young people who may not traditionally consider going to university or careers in engineering, construction and the built environment fields, Construction Youth Trust, the University and Network Rail provided a packed programme of talks, tours, Q&A sessions, practical activities and careers advice for the students.

Steve Watts, a lecturer in the School of Engineering, talked to the students about the important role engineering plays in everyday life, the benefits of a university education, and led a tour of the School. 

The students took part in hands-on activities including a challenge to design and build a bridge, whilst also gaining an appreciation of the wider impact construction has on the environment and local communities where work takes place.

Deavon Sinclair, Schools and Further Education Coordinator for Construction Youth Trust, said: “The Budding Brunels workshops have proved time and again to be a great success and a fantastic way to raise awareness of the opportunities in the construction and built environment industry.

“Bringing together universities and industry partners such as Network Rail in this way provides practical and tangible experiences that can help young people make informed decisions about their next steps after they leave school.” 

Vicki Roylance, Head of the University’s Widening Participation Team said: “We are committed to raising the aspirations among young people who are traditionally under-represented in higher education in Wales.

“Working with charities like Construction Youth Trust we can play a key role in providing opportunities to discover how rewarding university can be and how it can provide a route to careers in engineering and construction.”

Construction Youth Trust is a charity which delivers free construction training and courses to young people, many of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds or are under-represented in the industry. They aim to break down barriers that young people may experience to help them gain access to opportunities which exist whilst also helping with the long term objective of the industry to ensure a more diverse workforce.