Recognising the industry’s future stars!

Recognising the industry’s future stars!

As part of our recent Aluminium Day social media event, we were keen to shine a light on the future stars of the construction industry and discuss what companies such as Senior Architectural Systems can do to attract, train and retain the next generation of skilled construction workers. In our latest blog we are celebrating the work we have done as part of the educational outreach programme Better Learners Better Workers and the fantastic students at Sir Thomas Wharton Academy in South Yorkshire.

The Better Learners Better Workers Programme (BLBW) has been developed for students in Year 9 and Year 10 with the aim of providing young people with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they will need to be successful in their future working lives. Our involvement in this exciting scheme has seen us partner with Sir Thomas Wharton Academy secondary school, which is based nearby to us in Doncaster, to run a series of practical, hands on sessions with the student to get them to think more about a potential career in the manufacturing, engineering and construction sectors.

The sessions we have hosted so far have been a great success and as Matthew McDonald, principle of Sir Thomas Wharton Academy explains, being part of the Better Learners Better Workers programme has been a real game changer for the school.

“Working with local companies is a fundamental part of what we want to do at Sir Thomas Wharton Academy”, explains Matthew. “The school is at the heart of a brilliant community and we are very aware that we exist to serve its young people. Part of our vision is to ensure that they have successful and fulfilling lives and at the core of that sentiment has to be access to great careers. Senior Architectural Systems’ support helps us in achieving our aims of exposing young people to the many industry opportunities that there are out there and widening their understanding of opportunities local to them. We want our young people to make a difference to the community and Senior is helping us educate the students on careers, and for that we are very grateful.”

Students of the Sir Thomas Walton Academy taking part in one of our BLBW workshops

A rewarding experience for all

Everyone here at Senior has been so blown away by the enthusiasm and hard work that the students have shown throughout our sessions that we wanted to recognise and reward some of our future industry stars with our very own Aluminium Day award scheme! We recently returned to the school to present certificates and prizes to the students that have gone above and beyond in our sessions. Below are our list of winners and the comments from our very own judging panel.

Senior’s Star Award:

Chosen by our marketing co-ordinator Katie Neale, this award recognises the student that demonstrated great technical skill throughout the workshop session and also good awareness of the various skills required for running a successful business.
Winner – Sophie Grimshaw
Katie commented: “Sophie took control of the NHS project for her BLBW task. She facilitated well, assigned roles to different students based on their strengths and understands the importance of social media for growing a business.”

Engineering Excellence Award:

Selected by our technical director Mark Wheatley, the winner of this award showed great technical skill and leadership throughout the practical task and brought the best out of his team.
Winner – Seth Howlett
Mark said: “Seth coordinated well between his group members, devising strategies and plans for design and structure. His laid back approach allowed his teammates to work at ease, but also maintaining a good pace.”

Mark Wadsworth addressing the students of Sir Thomas Walton Academy

Aluminium Ace Award:

Our special ‘Aluminium Day’ award was judged by our managing director Mark Wadsworth. Here, Mark was looking for the student who showed great enthusiasm, involvement and interest on our visit to the school and who showed potential that they might develop their interest into a career in engineering.
Winner – Beata Lord
Mark explains: “Beata engaged superbly in the tasks on the day. She asked informative and leading questions to gain a greater understanding of the engineering industry.”

Better Learners Award:

Selected by Jeanette Brooke, careers lead at Sir Thomas Wharton Academy Sarah Ward, this award recognises the student that made a great impression throughout the activity workshops and who has really embraced the opportunity.
Winner – Archie Noble
Jeanette said: “Archie has responded brilliantly to each activity we have taken part in so far. His manners are exemplary and his respect for each industry and staff member are second to none.”

Young Innovator Award:

Director of Ambition Unlimited CIC and Better Learners Better Workers Business Champion Sarah Ward, this award celebrates a student who shows outstanding attitude towards their education, someone who really tries their best in all they do and has a bright future ahead of them!
Winner – Thomas McKenzie
Sarah said: “Throughout Year 7 to Year 9, Thomas has taken everything in his stride. He demonstrates maturity beyond his years, turns his hand to each and every subject equally and maintains his composure throughout difficult times. He has strong relationships with both staff and students and will have a successful future.”

As much as the sessions have been fun to organise and host, and the award scheme is a great way to reward those students who shone so brightly throughout, our work with Sir Thomas Wharton Academy also has a serious aim – to encourage younger people to consider a career in construction and help bridge the ever-widening skills gap.

Jeannette Brook, the careers lead at the school explains why giving younger people greater exposure to a variety of career options is so important: “Working with Senior Architectural Systems this year has been a fantastic opportunity for students to meet future employers who are local to our community, and to have exemplary role models and ambassadors to look up to, raising aspirations and giving insights in to future career roles. It has also enabled students to experience the real life workplace via demonstrations and the future visits that are planned.

“Senior has also explained the wealth of careers within the industry and talked about the local labour market. This information has encouraged students to think about careers and look at the different entry routes and opportunities available locally with a local high achieving company. We value the time and resources Senior have given to our students and look forward to future exciting collaborations.”

With more activities planned as part of our involvement in Better Learners Better Workers in the coming months, watch this space for all our latest updates!

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