Careers-in-construction

Grampian Construction Training Group held the first in a series of construction, engineering and building services challenges, designed to highlight the varied and exciting careers within the North-east construction industry.

The Build Your Future challenge offers a unique opportunity to bring the sector together, with the main aims of addressing the skills shortage, and showcasing the full range of career opportunities within the industry to students, parents and teachers.

Every secondary school in Aberdeen City and Shire has been invited to submit a team of ten pupils, with heats taking place at colleges, universities and construction companies across the North-east. Thanks to funding from Construction Industry Training (CITB) and sponsorship from Halliday Fraser Munro, Glulam Solutions and K R Group, schools can take part at no cost, and all transport is covered.

During the heats, pupils will compete against each other on a range of tasks which include a ‘plumbing obstacle course’, a ‘developmental viability appraisal’ task, and a task where pupils will be asked to design the smart city or rural village of the future.

The challenge ends with a final one-day event in January 2020, where the ten top scoring teams are invited to take part in a series of fun but demanding challenges, with an overall winner being announced at the end.

Kirkwood Homes hosted the first challenge, which took part this morning, and welcomed teams from Alford, Banchory and Meldrum Academy. Whilst the scores were very close, and the standards were very high, in the end Meldrum Academy were crowned the first worthy winners of the Build Your Future heats.

Jim Buchan, chair of Grampian Construction Training, said: “It was a pleasure to be here for the very first Build Your Future heat, and to see how much the pupils enjoyed the tasks. The purpose of this competition is to inspire pupils, and to show them the full range of career opportunities available within construction, and to give a feel for the incredible projects that they can go on to work on. We gathered feedback at the end of the day, and one team said that after completing the challenge, every member was now considering a career in construction. We just can’t ask for better than that!”

Colin Crombie, managing director of Kirkwood Homes, said: “It was great to welcome local schools to our head office this morning, and to have the chance to share our collective experiences of working in construction. Engaging with pupils at this important stage of their development is vital to the future development of the construction industry, and we are extremely passionate about raising the profile of the industry as a career choice to pupils, parents and teachers.”

Any school interested in taking part can contact Isla on

isla.stewart@mearns-gill.com