Are you passionate about construction and want to show others the opportunities available? Or perhaps, you’re looking for your own next step in your career? Becoming a Go Construct STEM Ambassador could be the perfect fit for you.
CITB, in partnership with STEM Learning, recently launched the Go Construct STEM Ambassador Scheme, which brings to life the use of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths within the sector.
Go Construct STEM Ambassadors are construction professionals, from apprentices up to company directors, that can inspire young people by sharing experiences from their varied and rewarding careers in the industry. PDA Member Kerry Murphy, founder of painting and decorating business, Decorella Ltd, recently discovered the scheme when talking to her local CITB Engagement Advisor, Nikki Parsons.
Essex based Kerry, said:
“I was thinking of winding down the decorating but that hasn’t been the case so far. However, I would like to be involved with training in the future, more in recruiting or encouraging youngsters. I’m thinking at some stage I’m going to be a little bit too creaky to get up ladders – being practical!
“That’s when Nikki said about the benefits of becoming an ambassador. I’ve done a few things now; I’ve done talks and careers fairs and really enjoyed them, so I’m keen to get out there and start doing more.”
Having now completed all the relevant paperwork, Kerry is keen to use the opportunity to discuss a subject of particular significance to her. Kerry discovered she was dyslexic later in life and described how finally getting a diagnosis provided a sense of relief and equipped her with the resources to get the right support.
She said: “For client consultations, I’ll be scribbling things down but a lot of the time I’m doing drawings or notes that are quite indecipherable really, if someone else looked at them. There would have been a time when I would have tried to hide that or be a bit ashamed of it, but it doesn’t worry me now, I’m quite up front about it.”
With an increased level of confidence, Kerry now hopes to help others through the scheme. She said: “I would like to go through the process of how I received support, break it down and signpost for other people, if it might make it a bit easier. If they’ve got a diagnosis, they can get help but also, if they’ve got other disabilities, there is help available – it’s just not always obvious.”
Kerry has also started focusing on the practical side of running a business in her talks, from tips to protect yourself out on jobs, to completing your tax return. She added:
“During my apprenticeship, we never did anything related to business or how to run a business and stay afloat, and I think that would have been really helpful starting out.”
Nikki Parsons, CITB Engagement Adviser, said:
“Kerry is such an inspiration, and I knew she’d be the perfect candidate for the ambassador scheme. She’s always felt particularly passionate about helping young women into industry, from mentoring them through personal challenges, to the various painting and decorating work experience she has offered across the London boroughs and Essex.
“Having faced challenges with dyslexia, the idea of delivering careers sessions and talks seemed unattainable to Kerry initially, but I think she has really surprised herself. Her confidence has grown hugely, and she’s started to develop further skills with support from CITB. I’m really excited to see what she gets up to next!”
CITB’s recently launched Business Plan for 2022/23 estimates a demand for an additional 50,000 workers every year. The Go Construct STEM Ambassadors are part of a wider programme of CITB initiatives to tackle the skills shortage, including educating careers advisers on the huge variety of professions available, traineeships, work experience, virtual site tours, and more.
If you would like to inspire and support young people on their construction journey, find out more about Go Construct STEM Ambassadors.