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ConstructionSkills’ NCW events get a make-over with industry themes

To ensure National Construction Week (NCW) stays fresh, relevant and educational, ConstructionSkills’ events this year have been structured around five core industry challenges – sustainability, specialists, diversity, skills and enterprise – with some exciting results. Castles, period properties, sports stadiums and art galleries are just a few of the more unusual venues being used to host events during the week which runs from 6-13 October.

Paul Sykes, Recruitment Manager at ConstructionSkills explains: “Our work over the last year on the construction sector skills agreement has given us the opportunity to get to the heart of the challenges facing the industry. As NCW is now in its ninth year, we thought this would be an opportune time to give added focus to our events, to ensure that they reflect the variety of the modern day construction industry to both students and teachers.”

Paul Sykes continues: “It is great to see how the different teams across the country have tackled these themes. The resulting events provide a great opportunity to energise and enthuse the next generation of construction workers at all levels – the people who will design and build the future.”

Some examples of the events planned under each of the five themes are given below. More details are available on and in the full press release:


The ‘Planning Challenge’ event at Swaffham Ecotech Centre will see teams of students tackling the debate over where to build new housing, through a planning consultation exercise. Each team will represent a competing interested party, including first-time-buyer, conservation activist and property developer.


The ‘Attacking and Defending’ event at Stirling Castle will look at the evolution of construction methods from medieval times to the present day. School children will be split into two groups with the ‘defenders’ building a model castle wall and the ‘attackers’ building a catapult to breach their defences.


The “Female Friendly Industry” event in Wales will match school girls from Years 9-13, with women in the industry for a one-day work shadowing exercise, to enable students to see what really goes on day-to-day, and to show that it’s not just about jobs for the boys.


“Bridge over the Cam” will see the grounds of Cambridge University hosting an NCW event. School children will be challenged to build model bridges over the River Cam as it runs through St John’s College.


Not satisfied with tackling just one structure, a number of events are challenging students to build whole communities. The ‘Ten Hour Town Challenge’ at the National Construction College in Bircham Newton, and the ‘Model Village Design Challenge’ at Loughborough University, require teams of students to consider all elements of the built environment, with local construction professionals on hand to give advice.

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