14th Feb 2014

Seddon-backed student mentoring scheme secures CIOB innovation award

A mentoring scheme for North West university students which was launched by Roy Cavanagh MBE of Bolton-based national construction company Seddon, and Aled Williams, north west chair of the Construction Industry Council, has won a major award.

The mentoring scheme – The Learner Voice- has secured the Merit award in the Innovation in Education and Training category of the Chartered Institute of Building International Innovation and Research awards. The national award scheme recognises outstanding contributions to education and training in the built environment.

The mentoring scheme has brought together students from universities in the North West with representatives from more than 30 local construction companies enabling undergraduates to gain advice and support from construction professionals about the industry, careers opportunities and work placements.

The pilot programme was launched in February 2013 by the Construction Industry Council North-West Regional Committee in partnership with the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and industry training body the CITB. As a result of the programme, 65 students were matched with 56 mentors.

Aled Williams, discipline lead (Built Environment) at the HEA and lead of The Learner Voice pilot, comments: "The Learner Voice being shortlisted for this award was an accolade in itself but attaining the Merit award is a great honour. It is important to our industry and to our students to bring employers and education providers closer together for the benefit of future generations of built environment professionals.  I would be delighted to see the scheme rolled out nationwide and for students everywhere to be given the chance to have the careers to which they aspire.”

Seddon training and education executive Roy Cavanagh MBE says: "As a company, we are committed to helping develop the next generation of construction professionals. What really struck me was the opportunity for students to benefit from guidance and advice from people currently working in the industry. The scheme also has huge potential to be introduced on a national basis.”

Following the success of the pilot, the mentoring scheme will be repeated in 2014. Individuals and employers interested in participating in The Learner Voice as mentors can contact Aled Williams, aled.williams@heacademy.ac.uk

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