“Attracting people at entry level is key to business growth and development”

Jackie Lister has brought talent to Gleeds for many years. As the company’s Recruitment Manager she has always been keen on taking innovative approaches to inspire and attract new talent into the business.

So when she was asked to sit on the judging panel for a competition designed to help improve the number of young people pursuing a career in construction, she was one of the first to offer her support.

The competition, known as ‘Be Inspired’, has united construction and marketing students from Nottingham Trent University, who have teaming up to create a social media campaign and video that will help attract young people into the construction industry.

Why did you decide to get involved in this initiative?

As an employer, Gleeds is keen to attract people at entry level into the industry. This seemed an excellent way of tapping into some new ideas and ways of promoting jobs amongst younger people. When Maria Willis, the event organiser, asked me to be part of the panel of judges I didn’t have to think twice, I jumped straight in!

In November you completed the first round of the competition, which involved students presenting their storyboards. How did it go?

The presentations were varied and innovative, we heard some great suggestions about how to get different messages across. The combination of the Built Environment students’ industry knowledge and the Business School students’ marketing ideas generated some really great results.

They all sound promising…

Their campaigns were at an early stage, but it was clear that the students had put lots of thought and discussion into the video storyboards and PowerPoint presentations that we saw. We’ll see how all of the ideas have progressed at the next event on Thursday 28th January, when the students will present their actual videos.

So far, what have you valued the most?

As someone representing the recruitment side of the industry, I was looking to see how the teams approached communicating to young people the career opportunities, the training prospects and the diversity of roles in the industry.  I also wanted to see students really stress the important message that there are no gender or age barriers in construction.

What did the other panellists think?

One of the judging panel’s priorities was looking for the campaigns really need to inspire young people to seriously consider a career in the construction industry, giving the audience enough detail so they know where to turn if they want more information.

The big question is: Why should young people consider a career in the construction industry? 

There is huge potential career-wise, there are several hundred different career options associated with the construction and property industry. There is great earning potential and geographical flexibility as construction is a global market… There is also lots of job satisfaction - seeing a finished building that could potentially be standing for 1000’s of years. I bet the Project Manager of Stonehenge would be proud!

What is Gleeds doing to attract young talent to the company?

We are in contact with many schools and colleges at a local level. In addition to career fairs, we also take part in events that open live construction projects up to the public. This gives people a unique opportunity to look around a construction site and meet those who actually work on the project. We have links with local government apprentice hubs and university employability teams, as well as offering work experience placements for young people.

Why does the company value employing young people?

At Gleeds, we believe that encouraging people to join at entry level is key to the growth and development of the business. It’s great to see people who join us at our trainee grades achieve new qualifications, attain Chartership and take an active part in the successful delivery of projects, and ultimately progress to more senior roles within the business.




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Julian Barlow

Julian Barlow
PR Consultant