By Catriona Lingwood, Chief Executive of Constructing Excellence in the North East
As you read this, final preparations are being put to Open Doors events all across the country. Last year, the event only lasted two days, but this year it’s offering a week of opportunities to see behind the scenes on construction sites.
The event, which takes place next week (Monday 13 June – Saturday 18 June), allows people to discover how building and structures are constructed and find out about the range of skills and professions needed on site. It welcomes everyone from civil engineers, bricklayers, front of house sales managers and future architects to visitors of all ages and skill sets.
Not only does the week give insight into how construction sites work, but it also provides the opportunity to learn about how to start a career in construction.
With events like this, we tend to assume that the most interesting sites will be based down South somewhere that isn’t easy for people from the North to access, yet, this year, that’s not the case. Here in the North East, there are five big sites and projects to choose from. Morgan Sindell are opening up their improvement scheme on the A1 Leeming to Barton. They are offering the chance to see behind the-scenes both on site and in the office, as well as discussing the different career options that the industry can offer (probably in the hope that once we see the scale of what’s going on, we’ll be a little more conscientious when complaining about the roadworks we all have to sit through-but I’m sure it will all be worth it in the end when the commute to and from London is much easier).
Both East Durham College, Houghall Campus and the Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics are giving visitors the chance to see the construction of new buildings, buildings which are certain to have an impact on the North East, so it will be amazing to be able to say you witnessed some of them being built!
Opening up these particular sites not only demystifies the sometimes frustrating construction process for the general public, it also excites them about what our industry can achieve and proves that the North East can proudly take its place in the national construction race.
Events like this are the perfect opportunity for those contemplating a career in the industry and it means we get to show off exactly what we have to offer. I think things like this have a much bigger impact than just reading about what we do on paper, as people get a chance to see first-hand what it’s like to work in the industry and see something that we’re already aware of – what a rewarding career construction can be.