Here at Identity Consult we are proud to be delivering projects that benefit our local communities for the long term, such as the new library extension at Duncan Place and the employability and skills hub at Temperance Square. However, it is equally as exciting to be sharing our experiences of working within the construction industry with future generations. Here, Senior Project Manager Kayleigh Fuller MAPM tells us more…
“This year sees our team continue to work on three landmark schemes as part of the Loftus High Street Funded Masterplan. Acting as external project management, cost consultant and principal designer here, and with a multidisciplinary design team at Duncan Place, these important projects will bring a wide range of long-term benefits to the East Cleveland community in terms of essential supportive services.
At Duncan Place we are involved in the Community Centre refurbishment which will create a new library extension attached to the existing centre and family hub facilities, whilst at Temperance Square we are developing the project to deliver a new employability and skills hub which provides a location for individuals to access work-based training to support employment opportunities.
As an important part of our involvement on these projects we are excited to be providing an amazing social value programme that focuses on engaging younger people within the community. Loftus, like many places in the Tees Valley, requires investment to improve future prospects and there is a raft of great work underway in the Tees Valley to help local people secure good, well-paid jobs as well as young people train for future careers, all of which will benefit the town in the longer term.
Along with my colleagues, Olivia Douglas (Project Management) and Martin Kemp (Cost Manager), we have been involved in programme in partnership with St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School called ‘Building OUR Future’, which is supported by Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council and SSE Renewables with funding from the Anglo American S106 STEM funding as well as the Dogger Bank Wind Farm. The initiative focusses on expanding children’s horizons with regards to careers, especially in the construction sector and the opportunities that are available to all – with interesting content that is shared at a level for this age group primarily.
Following Redcar and Cleveland’s two successful pilot programmes at other local schools, IC and the project team have completed delivery of a six session programme of one- two hour workshops with 35 children in years 5 and 6 which look at the many, varied careers in the built environment and how STEM subjects benefit. In 2022 the sessions introduced students to our business Identity Consult as well as the wider project team at EDable Architecture and WB Construction Ltd, giving the children the opportunity to ask many questions and discover what our roles involve, what we do exactly and how we each contribute to the delivery of a construction project. .
A really enjoyable session was Challenging Stereotypes where we encouraged the children to look at the many routes and pathways into construction, whilst challenging their perceptions over what subjects or skills you need for roles, what gender and disability bias is through conversations over neurodiversity, games of Guess Who and true/ false statements.
In 2023 we kickstarted with delivery of further sessions including a design workshop and challenge focused on creating an amazing, sustainable outdoor classroom, led by EDable with panel support from BGP Consulting Engineers, Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council and Identity Consult for judging the group champions! We also worked with the Council to provide employability skills and conduct mock interviews as part of the final bits for the programme. Thanks to Richard Harrison at the Council, Chloe Ashurst, Claire Margetts and Matt Charlton at EDable, Tom Brown and Jim Conway at Billinghurst George & Partners and Kris Kerr-Morgan at WB Construction Ltd for their invaluable input and time involved with all the sessions! Also to Jacqui Hutchinson and Candace Gilbert for being the overall leads for the programme on behalf of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council
We’re thrilled that the programme has been such a success to date, with the Council’s Primary Education Consultant, Candace Gilbert saying: “We are overwhelmed by the level of support Identity Consult, EDable and WB Construction have given to the BOF Programme. They really have gone above and beyond what we asked or expected.
“Kayleigh, the driving force behind the school delivery sessions, has also encouraged her team of local contractors to engage in programme, giving the children at St Joseph’s School the opportunity to meet and work with people from a range of organisations and learn about many different careers and jobs in the STEM sector.
“We look forward to continuing to develop our programme of activities with Identity Consult across other schools in the Borough.”
Talking about the funding, Lindsay Dougan, Senior Community Investment Manager – Development and Impact, SSE “The core costs of the delivery of the Building Our Future programme are funded by Dogger Bank Wind Farm to ensure all primary school children on Redcar and Cleveland are supported to access the jobs of the future.”
Mr. Scarlett, Year 5 teacher at St. Joseph’s Primary School added: “Both classes have enjoyed the project very much and have been excited to meet people from the real world who have told them new things, such as what a Project Manager is. They have had their eyes opened as to how many jobs are linked to an industry such as Construction and really enjoyed the A-Z of jobs linked to this.
“They have also enjoyed working in groups on the Outdoor Classroom project and I have been impressed with the cooperation they have displayed as well as their creativity. It was very valuable for them to research the prices of all the resources they wanted to have in the classroom. I think they were very surprised at how much things cost and perhaps didn’t realise that different places sell things at different prices so it is important to shop around. They are also very motivated to do well with their Dragons Den presentation on February 9th!”
And feedback shared by students Erin (Y5) and Isabelle (Y6) also shows how the sessions have inspired the groups. They said: “I learnt to stay positive for my future ahead of me and Mrs Hutchinson taught me to stay dreaming for what I will do in the present. I also learnt it is important to be a good listener, be creative and have a good team to work with”
And: “I have improved my teamwork skills and learned the power of sharing ideas to get a task done. It was really interesting to design and explore how expensive it really is to build an outdoor classroom.”
Since delivery of the initial Building our Future programme with St. Joseph’s we are continuing to support on workshops under the Building Our Future umbrella.
In March 2023 we have been involved in a new pilot programme with the 6th Form students from Kirkleatham Hall School (where we have been completing an extension and refurbishment project for the specialist school catering for students with physical and mental disabilities) and Kilton Thorpe Park Specialist School. This involved Louis Battista and Simon Allan (Project Management Director) supporting Scott Matthews, Winnie Wong and Sharon Lumb from Southern Green to deliver a design workshop and judging panel around creation of a sensory garden space as an offset to the new school therapy classrooms extension at the school. Pupils were awarded with plants from Southern Green to reward them for their achievements over their design ideas.
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