More than 600 students of all ages and over 200 industry professionals attended Foundations Live 2022 – one of the north of England’s biggest construction, trade, networking, and careers events.
Despite the torrential downpour, exhibitors, trades people, students and teachers were all able to keep dry and explore more than 80 exhibition stands inside the huge arena at Bishop Burton College in East Yorkshire.
Hobson & Porter, the event’s main organiser, was joined by the likes of Beal Homes, Vinci Construction, Keepmoat, Balfour Beatty, Spencer Group, Jewson, Dulux, British Gypsum, and Plasmor.
In addition to all the schools, colleges, and training providers from across the region, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and representatives from Talentview Construction were also on hand to help people find first jobs, apprenticeships, and work experience opportunities.
David Blades, SHEQ director at Hobson & Porter, said: “It was great to see Foundations Live back in action and in full force for the first time in three years due to the pandemic. It proved to be our biggest and most successful event to date. It was the perfect environment for those working in construction and engineering to network and find out about the latest sustainable and technological developments, as well as get information on how to access grants and funding.
“With hundreds of young people of all ages engaging with our exhibitors and interactive activities, we were also able to showcase what wonderful sectors construction and engineering are, and hopefully help to address some of the current skills shortages the sectors are facing.”
According to the CITB 19,000 extra workers need to be recruited to meet expected levels of work over the five-year forecast period.
Ms M Joshi, from The Market Weighton School, said: “It was a very productive morning and the students have all enjoyed it. With practical tasks that have given them hands on experiences, as well as excellent businesses to talk to, students have been able to engage in really productive and informative ways that will no doubt help them when making their career choices.”
Exhibitor Alicia Bowyer, from Synthotech Ltd, said: “We work with Northern Gas Networks and came to showcase some of the technology we use when servicing their pipes. We brought our robot with us that has a camera and sprays a flexible sealant inside the pipes to fix cracking joints. The kids loved it and were really enthusiastic asking loads of questions. We are part of the innovation team and it’s great to get in front of the next generation and explain what we do.”
Sarah Cooper, from Northern Gas Networks, said: “It’s the fourth time we have exhibited at Foundations Live. One year we brought one of our sniffer dogs that spots gas leaks, which was really popular and this year we brought the hydrogen car with us. These kind of events are great for us as we get to chat to people about the huge variety of careers available – you don’t have to be a gas engineer to work for us!”
Mike Hutchinson from window firm, Fakro, said: “We have been before, and each year take a larger stand! It’s a really good event where we get to speak to joiners, carpenters and builders and companies like Jewson about our window products. The students have all been engaged and interested in how we manufacture and install our products and we can’t wait for next year!”
Sharon Tallett, from Bishop Burton College, said: “What a great event! I have had invaluable conversations at Foundations Live, particularly about sustainability. Everyone has been so friendly and informative, and I have made some great industry contacts too.”
TV host Mark Millar also returned to the event as Foundations Ambassador. Mark is an experienced project manager who runs a successful building firm in Bristol and is the presenter of Channel 5’s primetime series Dream Kitchens And Bathrooms He’s also one of the most recognised faces on BBC One’s DIY SOS and he’s passionate about developing the talent of the future and promoting the construction industry as a career to the next generation.
Foundations Live will take place next October 2023, for more details visit www.foundationslive.co.uk