World Youth Skills Day was launched by the UN in 2014 as a way to celebrate the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship. Since then, it’s provided a unique opportunity for dialogue between young people, technical and vocational and training institutions, companies, employers’ and workers’ organisations, governments and development partners.
At Pexhurst, we understand the importance of equipping the next generation of young workers with the tools they need – whether that be skills development, formal training or practical work experience – to realise their full potential. Especially as young people have been some of the hardest hit by the wide-reaching labour market and social impacts of the pandemic.
To mark World Youth Skills Day, we spoke to some of the young talent across Pexhurst to find out more about how we’re supporting them through the next phase of their career development.
Charlotte Harris, Buying Administrator, joined Pexhurst in 2021 from the retail industry
Q. What tools have Pexhurst equipped you with to make the transition from retail into construction?
A. Pexhurst have been super supportive from the get go, helping my transition into the construction industry from the retail industry by providing excellent opportunities for CPD and prioritising useful training within the team.
Lyall Daniels, Contracts/Commercial Manager – joined Pexhurst in 2019 after gaining experience as an estimator commercial fit-out and refurbishment for a London company
Q. The theme for this year’s World Youth Skills Day is resilience and creativity. Can you give an example of how you’ve shown resilience and creativity in a work context from the past year?
A. During the design of the cladding at our Hercules project in Bristol, we were determined by the line of the existing structure which we were fixing to. This meant the brick walls below would sit at different distances away from the new cladding and the dock curtains wouldn’t sit plumb with the loading doors. We initially proposed a top hat section either side of all the 50 doors to pack out the curtain but this didn’t work due to not being able to accommodate different depths or different angles as it was to a set distance.
In lieu of this, we proposed a box section with adjustable brackets to the top, middle and bottom of the section to allow for different tolerances of the wall it was connected to and allowing the dock curtains to align with the loading doors.
Charlie Hazeltine, Assistant Site Manager – joined Pexhurst in 2018 as an apprentice and is currently enrolled on a HNC in Construction Management
Q. What do you enjoy most about learning?
Developing my own existing skills and knowledge or even acquiring new skills. There are times where It can be frustrating but once you become more experienced, it is satisfying to be able to deal with a particular problem which you may have found difficult to address in the past.
In terms of my HNC I love being able to learn about a topic and to take that knowledge into my day to day working life, although I may not always fully understand the theory side, being able to put it into context on site has helped me develop my knowledge.
Kayla Vella, Client Relationship and Marketing Manager – joined Pexhurst in 2019 after graduating from Oxford Brookes University with a first-class honours in Business and Marketing Management
Q. Talk about one opportunity and one challenge you have faced as a young person in work over the past year?
One challenge I have faced has to be continuing to learn and grow in my job role despite the impact of the numerous COVID lockdowns. Working from home is good at times, but I had to push myself to ensure I asked for help when I needed it – this is easier in the office as you can just walk over to someone’s desk for a quick answer. However, I am lucky to have a really supportive team who I get on well with and we ended up having a Teams call every day during last year’s March lockdown!
One opportunity is sort of a direct result of the impact of lockdowns. As we slowly ease out of restrictions and back to normality, we have realised the importance of meeting clients in person. I have been given the responsibility of planning many client events and have thoroughly enjoyed putting a face to an email address. It has reiterated the importance of business development and how much I have missed networking in person rather than via a screen.
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