Why it is important for construction companies to build relationships with educators!


David Stein from Acorn Blue with students from Redruth School in Cornwall on  a site visit

In late 2014 the UK construction industry was in its third year of growth and the only thing preventing it from accelerating that growth was a lack of people. In particular there was a lack of young people coming into the industry and this was put down mainly to the poor image of the sector.

In November 2014 the then Government Chief Construction Adviser, Peter Hansford, visited the South West and whilst there launched an ‘Adopt a School’ campaign whereby he asked construction related companies to ‘buddy up’ with their local schools to raise the profile of construction as a career choice with young people and improve its image at the same time. As Peter was with Andrew Carpenter, CEO of CESW, at the time it was Constructing Excellence South West who was asked to run with it.

CESW is aware that there are other outstanding projects in existence such as Class of Your Own but we wanted to create a way for schools and companies to buddy up on an ad hoc basis with no fee to participate.


The Mission

The CESW Adopt a School Campaign is supported by the Southern Construction Framework


  • We are working with the CITB to create more Construction Ambassadors within each of the clubs in the South West region

  • We aim to link up schools and construction businesses in ongoing partnerships. This partnership between the school and the business can be tailored to suit local needs.

  • Each partnership will be expected to create a menu of school based activities, for example: a Construction related Career’s Fair, Site visits, Visit to design offices and working with Careers Advisers to remove the stereotypical negative perception of Construction as a career path.

In The Beginning

In Sept 2015 the very first schools to join the Adopt a School Campaign were Plymouth School of Creative Arts who buddied up with Kier Construction and St Ives School who buddied with PBWC Architects. Both of these partnership were launched with a concert by Tom Carpenter (The Voice) In the case of St Ives School, Tom’s concert raised money to fund a student visit to the Eden Project.

This is just one of the creative ways that Partnerships have chosen to launch their ongoing relationship, CESW aim to support schools and companies to find their own way of working together in a way that works best for all.

Tom Carpenter (The Voice) with students


Many more schools and businesses have joined the Adopt a School since then and are planning or already running a variety of activities which promote Construction Industry Careers. We are very excited to see how each of these partnerships get on over the coming year. Ralph Allen School in Bath have buddied up with Curo and have a wonderful programme of events lined up including 3 reserved work experience placements for Ralph Allen for Year 10s with Curo.


Get Involved

If you are a school or a business and would like to participate in the Adopt a School Campaign, please contact Emma Hannam – Adopt a School Coordinator

Emma will be happy to help you to find a school or company to buddy up with and facilitate introductory meetings.

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