Top construction employers mentor the workforce of the future

London South East College’s current cohort of Career Ready students from the Construction and Built Environment Level 3 Diploma, have been paired up with top industry experts to help support them and offer advice during their studies.

Twelve students, all devoted to pursuing careers in the construction industry, met their industry mentors last week, all of who come from a range of top UK construction firms.

Representatives from Wates, Turner & Townsend and The Berkeley Group came along to a special event at the College’s Bromley Campus to introduce themselves and give the mentees a rundown of their expertise. Together, they devised plans to develop a working relationship that allows each student a direct line to professional insight and support.

The mentors will be on-hand over the next twelve months to guide the mentees and develop their skills and networks. They will also point them in the direction of relevant further training, higher studies or into work.

Anna Trocmé Latter is Career Ready Regional Manager for London and the South East. She told the guests: “You have been very carefully matched using a set of criteria to match a student’s career ambitions, strengths and weaknesses and the mentor’s line of business and expertise. This icebreaker is intended for the two to meet each other, plan the way ahead and develop a professional relationship. It is the student who will have the ultimate responsibility to maintain that relationship for a fifteen-month period and beyond.”

Student Cheyanne Walters, 18 from East Dulwich, came to the College after studying at sixth form college. She would like to become an architect one day. She has been matched with David Fox, Principal Design Manager at Wates.

Cheyanne said: “I’m literally thrilled to be paired with David. He has such a long and varied career behind him and has worked on some amazing construction projects over the years. They include South Essex College, the recent redevelopment of Battersea Power Station and the Royal London Hospital to name but a few.

“Over the next year I will be invited to take part in work experience and shadowing projects and a possible internship over the summer holidays. I just cannot wait.”
David said: “I got involved with the Career Ready mentoring programme because I often cast my mind back to when I was a teenager and wonder just how easier it would have been if I could have had a mentor myself. To have an industry professional at the end of a telephone is priceless.”

Philippe Blaxill, 19 from Keston, also joined London South East Colleges after completing A levels at sixth form. He decided that university wasn’t the route for him and chose to follow the vocational/apprenticeship route to a successful career. He has been matched with Judy Adams, Director of Global Risk Management at Turner & Townsend.

Philippe said: “I’m going to work very hard to become a Quantity Surveyor and the pairing with Judy is exactly what I wanted. She is fully qualified in this area and can help me stay on-track to achieving my ambitions. She has worked on projects all over across the world including Ethiopia and Islamabad. I know I can learn a lot from her.”

Judy said: “I’m looking forward to inviting Philippe to the Turner & Townsend HQ and will even set up an internship if he is interested. Quantity surveying can give you a brilliant career and take you to all corners of the world. No matter where you go, your skills and qualifications are the same and can open many doors for you. Our first meeting will be in February where we will be discussing the way forward.”

Course Tutor, Clair Wickens at London South East Colleges has been working with the students during their course and preparing them for their Career Ready roles. She said: Taking part in this programme can give an enormous advantage to students who are willing to work hard and make the most of the very high-profile mentors that they are given exposure to. It enables them to make workplace visits, network at the highest level and receive one-to-one advice any time they need it.”

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