As part of my apprenticeship, I was asked to represent the University College of Estate Management (UCEM) and Sovereign at the Construction News Summit recently, taking part in discussion on how the industry can attract the next generation of young people into construction.
Sitting alongside Catherine De Marco, Deputy Director from the Department for Transport and Simon Lawrence, Programme Director for the Infrastructure and Projects authority, we talked about the importance of getting more young people into the industry and at the moment, it’s really crucial we do this.
Before moving into a property services career at Sovereign, I’d managed sports centres and worked in frontline community development roles. As well as opportunities to develop and grow, making a tangible difference to people is really important to me and I hadn’t thought of construction as the answer.
But working in property services I get to have both, having an impact everyday – and we need to shout about that more.
So we talked about the sector needing to work harder to show young people that it’s an attractive career, whether that’s talking to children in schools or promoting what we can offer to people more widely.
In the industry currently just 1% of trades roles are held by women, at Sovereign we now have 4%…..we are leading the way!
Sovereign is doing a lot of great work already with specific initiatives to give women a chance to explore a career with us, and it was easy to demonstrate why other organisations can look to Sovereign as a really good example.
I also spoke about my experience of taking on a Level 7 apprenticeship, which will give me a master’s degree and accreditation to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) with the brilliant UCEM, and the benefits that the government levy can bring to organisations.
Apprenticeships allow people to learn new skills around their current role and I’m already using what I have learnt on a day-to-day basis, which is great for me and for our customers.
Although I was incredibly nervous beforehand as I had no idea what questions we were going to be asked, it was a brilliant opportunity not only to do something outside of my comfort zone, but to be able to talk about why construction is my career of choice and the incredible work Sovereign does to support both its staff and our residents….it made me feel very proud.