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Lovell experts inspire builders of the future

Experts from Midlands-based housebuilder Lovell have been working with Wolverhampton’s flagship West Midlands Construction UTC (WMCUTC) to inspire the area’s new generation of construction professionals.

Experts from Midlands-based housebuilder Lovell have been working with Wolverhampton’s flagship West Midlands Construction UTC (WMCUTC) to inspire the area’s new generation of construction professionals.

WMCUTC students on site with Lovell at Harvills Grange, West Bromwich.

Twenty-two teenagers studying construction at the WMCUTC Academy spent a week with the Lovell team learning about the housebuilding industry and the career opportunities it offers.  Visits to local Lovell housing developments in Bartley Green and Erdington in Birmingham and in West Bromwich gave the 14- and 15-year-old students close-up insights into the design and construction process and the chance to glean advice from the national housebuilder’s experienced team. Lovell has its national head office in Tamworth and its Midlands regional office in Woodgate Valley, Halesowen.

With support from Lovell, the students completed the Sustainable Communities bronze CREST award which set the students the challenging task of designing their own housing development and presenting their proposals to an invited audience.

WMCUTC principal Tom Macdonald says: “Work experience is just one of the ways in which our employer partners, like Lovell, are supporting our students and bringing the UTC curriculum to life. Along with employer mentors and major curriculum projects, work experience helps our students become the young professionals the industry needs.”

Lovell national people development manager Bruce Boughton, who hosted the week-long visit at the company’s Tamworth office and on site, says: “The idea was to give the students real-life industry experience to support their project work, so the week included visits to three ‘live’ housing developments under construction by Lovell as well as the opportunity to talk to the people behind them about their jobs and skills. This is a brilliant way of showing students how creative and rewarding it can be to create new homes. It also helps challenge perceptions about our industry. Too often, construction is just seen as being about manual trades whereas the reality is that we employ a wide variety of professionals who work together to design, build and deliver new homes in communities. Our own team ranges from architects, planners and designers to project managers, quantity surveyors and estimators, legal teams and sales and marketing professionals. By meeting the men and women who work for us and seeing our own developments under construction, the students were able to gain a new perspective on the industry and their project work as part of the CREST award, as well as see where a career in construction can lead.

“As a community-focused company and a long-term partner with WMCUTC, Lovell is committed to encouraging and inspiring the construction professionals of the future through this kind of imaginative initiative. Bringing forward the next generation of construction professionals has always been fundamental to our approach and is more important than ever now, when the industry faces a dwindling pool of skilled workers at the same time as it prepares for a boom in workloads.”

It’s estimated that over 230,000 new construction jobs will be created in the UK over the next five years making it essential that new workers are brought into the industry and equipped with the right skills.