Over the past 19 years CIC has developed a network of committees throughout the nine English regions, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The aim of the Nations and Regions committees is to provide opportunities at a local level for members and/or construction sector professionals and organisations to have a voice and to share their current themes, concerns and priorities. These committees can also facilitate opportunities for joint initiatives and consider issues relevant to their region whilst promoting public awareness of the construction industry. The chairs of the committees meet in London three times a year with the Nations and Regions champion John Nielsen, who sits on the CIC Executive Board.
In 2014 the Nations and Regions committees have decided to focus on education to encourage new entrants into the industry. To make a head start with this, they have commissioned work to collate data on all secondary schools within the UK and they have ordered an extra 3500 copies of the CIC careers booklet for dissemination nationwide. They hope to develop some beneficial initiatives whilst also supporting, promoting and working with schemes that the Professional Institutions provide.
Here is some of the work these committees are already carrying out around education:
CIC North West: Chair Aled Williams
In February 2013, the CIC North-West Regional Committee, chaired by Aled Williams, in partnership with the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and CITB launched a pilot workplace-based mentoring scheme, The Learner Voice, for second year Construction and Built Environment undergraduates from a consortium of universities: Liverpool John Moores University, University of Bolton, University of Salford and the University of Manchester. The students were matched with construction industry professionals who have successfully built careers in their chosen fields and have at least two years’ experience.
The scheme has so far brought together in excess of 33 construction and built environment companies, 56 employer mentors and 65 students. Now in its second year, the scheme will be holding another event in March 2014 for employer mentors, at which they will be provided with a toolkit and practical skills to help them in their role. The aims of the project are to help students to link the theory of their university course to real workplace practice and to introduce them to professionals already working in the roles to which they aspire. This project is designed to help students make the difficult transition from study to work both easier and more successful. For mentors it may provide an opportunity to reflect on their own work, meet other mentors and gain CPD in mentoring. At the end of the project, in June, there will be a meeting of mentors and organisers to share experiences and consider how the pilot programme might be progressed.
CIC South West: Chair David Pearce
Engagement with school age students is a main priority for the South West region. It has started engaging with local careers advice providers, the CITB, regional LEPs, and directly with schools. The committee will be attending careers events and it will also set up its own specialist education sub-committee.
CIC North East: Chair John Nielsen
CIC NE is one of the main players in the Schools ‘Wonder’ competition. This involves teams from years 9 and 10, from local schools, right across the North East. The teams take on the challenge of preparing a bid to redevelop their local town into a ‘Wonder Town’. This year there are 18 teams and 12 professionals mentors from various disciplines. Schools across the North East are invited to take part in this exciting and challenging project.
In March CIC NE will be organising another construction event for school careers officers. This will be held at Middlesbrough College and it will include 15 minute presentations from institutions and industry representatives who will demonstrate the variety, the depth and the exciting aspects of a career in the construction industry.
CIC Yorkshire & Humber: Chair Stefanie Stead
This committee is currently planning an education programme in which ambassadors from across all the professions will work with schools and colleges to explore ideas, skills and careers in the construction industry.
It has been working with Edge Analytics to establish where growth is predicted in construction activity over the next 20 years and where shortfall of personnel to service the industry will be. The Committee will use this information to establish where the pilot programme should be located.
Test programmes are to be carried out in three schools this year, in response to the new curriculum being introduced in September, to establish what the actual activities should be. Following this, a pilot programme will be carried out in targeted areas in the region.
It is the intention of the regional committees to provide a single cohesive voice for the industry. CIC would therefore like to ensure a good level of cross discipline representation by its members throughout the Nations and Regions. If your Professional Institution does not already have a representative on one of our committees and you are interested in being part of our network, please contact Liz Drummond at LDrummond@cic.org.uk