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Foundations in place for thriving construction industry

Leading construction companies have praised our Foundations event for its role in inspiring the next generation of workers.

This year’s event at Bishop Burton College has been described as one of the best yet, with over 70 exhibitors and hundreds of visitors, including 16 schools and colleges.

Now in its fourth year, among those returning was Mark Millar from DIY SOS. He said: “It’s even better than last year, with more floor space and more contributors.

“Foundations has brought together all the different trades under one roof and all the contributors want to give visitors a chance and that is what it is all about.”

We created the programme to help address the skills gap in the industry and to help build a sustainable workforce. This involved an interactive careers’ event for people from primary school age through to adults re-training. It was also a professional business networking and trade event, partnered with Bishop Burton College, Jewson and the Construction Industry Training Board.

Among the wide variety of exhibitors was Visqueen, which manufactures and designs structural waterproofing and gas protection systems. National account manager Jen Stainton said: “It is a worthwhile event for the future of the industry and offers quite a lot of value for us.

“The kids have been polite and asked questions. The quiz sheet given to the kids was brilliant as it helped give the school children the courage to come and talk to the exhibitors.

It’s praise which was echoed by conservatory specialist and founder of the Hull4Heroes charity. Paul Matson said: The construction industry in Hull is booming at the minute and events like this show it’s a good future for building. It’s good for everybody for networking.”

Attending for the first time this year was Craven Primary Academy, which is based in Hull. While children were trying their hands at bricklaying, teacher Carole Carmichael said: “We’ve come here to show the children other things they can aspire to. I think it’s really good.

“They have been finding out about building and construction. It’s been hands on and appealing for them. Fingers crossed we’ll have a few construction workers of the future.”

Dave Blades, director for Hobson & Porter, said: “This year was all about momentum after last year highlighting the importance in working together to increase the workforce in the construction industry.

“A lot of hard work has gone on and events like Foundations showcases the power of collaboration and the hard work the industry is doing together to showcase the wealth of opportunity in the construction industry.

“Thanks to everyone who has supported Foundations Live. None of this is possible without the individual support of organisations both for this year’s event and since the initiative began.”

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