Students get taste of life in the construction industry

A group of St Ninian’s students donned hard hats and hi-vis jackets for a week of work experience in the island’s construction industry.

Five businesses joined forces to offer a varied week of work experience to the teenagers, showing them the wide range or roles and of career paths that construction offers.

This joint initiative, the first of its kind, was organised by the Chamber of Commerce’s construction committee.

The five businesses that took part were JBA Consulting Engineers, Bell Burton Quantity Surveyors, Auldyn Construction, Island Aggregates and Stewart Clague Services.

The four students, Kaine O’Sullivan, Aaron Hine, Jacob Langton and Goran Gasinski, spent a day with each company.

Stephen Smyth, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce’s construction committee, said: ’Now, more than ever, with construction skills shortages already a major issue across the British Isles, we need more young people opting for careers in the industry.

’In the past, construction has perhaps lagged behind other sectors in terms of promoting itself.

’There is an acceptance that we need to do more and this cross-industry work experience week is one of a number of planned initiatives.

’Construction offers a vast range of careers in so many disciplines and for all levels of ability. We’ve been trying to illustrate this to the students, that the work can be very fulfilling, well paid and opens up a whole world of opportunity.’

There are plans to roll the initiative out to other schools, with several businesses already lined up. Interested students are urged to keep a look-out for the next work experience weeks on the website.

In Tynwald last week, Economic Development Minister Laurence Skelly announced a temporary exemption for work permits in the construction industry to deal with a shortage of skilled labour.

He said this would be for specific projects or a shortage of specific skills and will be only be via the Manx accredited construction contractors scheme.

Construction students

Four St Ninian's students took part in a tailored 'Construction Industry Work Experience Week', part of a joint effort between local companies. Back row, left to right: Ralph Jackson, Dave Gregory (both Audlyn construction), Mark Renshaw (Bell Burton Quantity Surveyors), Greg Parkinson and Katarzyna Wrzosek (both JBA Consulting Engineers), Stephen Smyth (Island Aggregates), Michael Lee (Stewart Clague Services). Front row, left to right: students Goran Gasinski; Kaine O'Sullivan; Aaron Hine

Find the full story on iomtoday here.