Virtual scheme supporting industry entrants

Morrison Construction has been celebrating the success of the latest young person to come through its virtual work experience scheme in East Lothian.

Published: 16 December 2020
Capability: Building
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Connor Anderson, 16, was referred by employment skills charity the Bridges Project in Musselburgh. He took part in a week’s worth of training giving him an insight into the activities that take part every day on a working construction site.

The Community Skills team at Morrison Construction Building Central devised the scheme after the traditional face-to-face work experience placements were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. A programme was developed through virtual and digital media, mirroring the type of information that would be presented in a more traditional format.

As part of his placement, Connor was introduced to the health and safety requirements of a working site, learning how to create risk assessments, as well as finding out about the different roles in a construction business through virtual discussions with members of the Morrison team. He also learnt about sustainable issues through a module on waste management and how it is currently handled on a modern construction site.

Connor is keen to break through into the industry with current apprenticeships and placements for young people at a premium due to the pandemic. To assist him in his efforts, the Morrison team provided him with a full set of personal protective equipment at the end of his course.

He commented: “The virtual work experience was a good experience for myself and I think it will be for others as well. It will help me in the future as it has opened my eyes to many more job opportunities that I wasn’t aware of and would be good to get into.

“By doing this work placement virtually, I feel I have learnt new skills that can help me for the future in case any other pandemic happens again.”

Conor Gray, Communities and Social Impact Manager for Morrison Construction Building Central, said: “Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, it is really important to Morrison Construction to maintain opportunities for giving entrants to the industry the skills they need. We are pleased that young people like Connor have been able to gain a real benefit from the scheme so far, and we look forward to helping more young people on their way to a career in construction in the future.”

The placement scheme has also been recognised by the Considerate Constructors Scheme who awarded the programme an innovation point.