Organised by Morrison Construction, part of the Galliford Try group, the event included workshops led by representatives from many of the professions and trades in the industry from architecture, quantity surveying and civil engineering to bricklaying, joinery and plumbing. Each of the 40-minute sessions gave those attending a hands-on opportunity to experience aspects of the various jobs.
For instance, Jamie Bruce, an apprentice bricklayer, and Paul Skilling, a site manager who started as a bricklayer, both of whom work for Morrison, explained how they started their careers, the different aspects of their role, what their highlights have been and why they would recommend the industry to others. Then it was down to the delegates to have a go themselves building a block wall and applying a scratch coat and render.
In another workshop Morrison employees Grant Sloggie, Craig Irvine, Euan Rennie and Kim Mair spoke about their experiences of life as a civil engineer. The delegates then used construction drawings, a dumpy level device and tape measure in a road planning exercise.
Other participating companies were Keppie Design, CDMM, Barnie Group, William Grey Construction, the National Demolition Training Group, Robertson Construction, Wyvis Roofing and Fairhurst consulting engineers.
Gordon Williamson, project manager with Morrison Construction, said: "We held this event last year and it was a great success so we thought we should do a follow-up. The feedback we've had has again been very positive. Construction desperately needs newcomers in order to cope with increased demand in recent months and we hope that this event will inspire students to consider a career in the industry."
He added: "We're currently strengthening links with Inverness schools through a work experience programme. We're advertising up to five vacancies and will be interviewing applicants as we would for full vacancies in order to give them first-hand experience of the job application process as well as the chance of a week's placement at the end of next month."