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L-R: Michael Kiely, Paul Foote, Ben Alcantara, Paul Connolly at the launch of the Cardinal Wiseman and Turner & Townsend partnership

Builders of the future

Turner & Townsend adopts two high-performing schools to tackle construction industry skills shortage

Posted by Hannah Oakman | October 21, 2015 | Teaching

Turner & Townsend, the global programme management and construction consultancy, has ‘adopted’ two schools – one in the North East, the other in London - to help inspire the next generation to consider a career in construction, and to address a serious shortage of young British talent in the industry.

Marden High School in North Shields, one of the highest achieving schools in the North East, is the first school in the region to introduce an industry-supported qualification called Design Engineer Construct (DEC) onto its education curriculum.

The consultancy has also adopted Cardinal Wiseman School in Greenford, London, which was described in its latest Ofsted report as outstanding in terms of student behaviour.

Turner & Townsend will support teachers and students at both schools as they work their way through an accredited curriculum to design a virtual eco-classroom. 

The DEC programme offers students the opportunity to develop a range of skills and knowledge relevant to the built environment and construction industry.

While designing the eco-classroom, students will learn about the roles within a project team, sustainable design, architecture, planning, project management and procurement, and Building Information Modelling (BIM), a discipline in which Turner & Townsend specialises.

To assist students Turner & Townsend will have face-to-face workshops, provide guidance with specialist technology during the design process, and arrange for visits to the schools by industry partners from both the North East and the capital.

David Marshall, Assistant Head Teacher at Marden High School commented: “This partnership will lead to several exciting opportunities for the students at Marden High. It marks a significant step in our ambition to inspire and support students in STEM related subjects through business partnerships and university links.”  

Michael Kiely, Head Teacher of Cardinal Wiseman School, added: “Turner & Townsend will support us to widen our design and technology curriculum far beyond traditional subjects to ‘real life’ project design and management. This is an outstanding opportunity to work with Turner & Townsend to inspire the project managers, architects and quantity surveyors of the future.”

Paul Connolly, Managing Director – Cost Management at Turner & Townsend explained: “There is a serious shortage of young British talent working in the construction industry. To attract the brightest and best to the industry we have to inspire young learners at grass-roots level and this practical addition to the curriculum does exactly that.” 

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