Chesterfield Property and Construction group member and Associate Director of Nineteen47 Sarah Wills, has penned her thoughts on the importance of skills and employability initiatives in the town during National Careers Week 2022.
The property and construction industry impacts on all of our lives. It is an industry that creates and changes the places in which we live, work, communicate, play and exercise.
The professions across the industry are diverse and it is a fascinating space to be when all of those different facets of the built environment come together to create places. That said, the workforce creating these places that we all interact with every day, should represent the populations we are creating places for and currently, there is a distinct lack of diversity across the sector.
The Chesterfield Property and Construction Group are aware of our role to raise the profile of the industry and encourage and support people from all backgrounds to enter the built environment disciplines. The forum has supported some fantastic initiatives in Chesterfield including Made in Chesterfield which highlights and celebrates manufacturing, engineering, science and technology industries and careers in the town.
The My Future virtual platform is an exciting resource to showcase careers and apprenticeships available in the local area. In addition, a significant amount of time is being spent on expanding a mentoring scheme to support young people across North Derbyshire who are interested in pursuing a career working in the built environment.
As an industry, we collectively need to shout about how rewarding it is to work within the sector and make young people or those retraining and changing careers aware that being involved can help shape real places around them; can help tackle climate change, can address housing shortage, can allow biodiversity to flourish alongside new development and can protect our heritage and our future.
With new methods of construction and sustainability at the heart of current directives, the nature of roles in the construction industry are changing and there is a significant opportunity to engage those who have previously felt it was not for them or not been aware of the broad range of job prospects available across the built and natural environment.
I am proud to be part of the property industry. Awash with real, genuine and kind people who are actively trying to make a difference to Chesterfield and the places that make it special. I hope that the property and construction industry will be a more accessible, obvious choice for a broader range of young people in the future.