Foundations laid for construction careers at Chorlton High South

Students interested in professional construction careers are being inspired by industry role models following a tie up between Manchester main contractor Russell WBHO and education charity State Talking.

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Aidan Bannon, a Senior Estimator with the Trafford Park-based company, is the latest young professional to give his time as part of the project. Aidan spent an afternoon with pupils from Chorlton High South this week showcasing some of the company’s multi-million pound  city centre projects and answering their questions about his role. 

The 35-year-old talked through the multitude of different careers available within construction – from surveying, project management and health and safety, to HR, legal and accounts – and the many routes into the industry.

A graduate of the Russell WBHO professional apprenticeship programme himself, Aidan also  gave an insight into the combined entry method, which provides on-the-job training with a part-time degree at the University of Salford.

Aidan, who has been with the company since leaving school in 2004, said: “I really enjoy talking to young people about the construction industry and I was really impressed with this group and the questions they asked. 

“It can be a daunting crossroads in a young person’s life, particularly if they aren’t sure on which path to pursue, whether this is further education, work or a vocational training programme.

“So it’s great to share your experience and perhaps make them aware of other opportunities available. One or two know what they want to do, while others are considering it as an option. I hope I was able to give them the info they needed, to help when making their choice.

“There are so many different roles in construction, there really is something for everyone especially with a major firm like Russell WBHO. So if you have an interest in the built environment or just want to be involved with construction projects that can help shape a city, it’s a great place to be.”

Chorlton High South teacher Josh Williams added: “We’d like to thank Aidan, Russell WBHO and State Talking for giving our students the opportunity to learn about the industry from someone so knowledgeable and approachable. The fact that Aidan has been through the training programme in the past and is doing so well – and clearly really enjoying his job – is so important for the students to see and is genuinely inspiring for them.”

With a strap line of “You can’t be what you can’t see”, State Talking is an education-based charity which links inspirational – yet real and relatable – role models with state schools in Greater Manchester. It provides talks and careers events aimed at helping young people to get a rounded picture of the jobs available to them, and how to access those positions via different entry routes.

Russell WBHO pledged its support to State Talking as a founding sponsor of the organisation when it launched in June 2020, and has seen a number of employees join the rosta of role models.

To find out more about State Talking visit: www.statetalking.org To request a school visit or careers talk from a Russell WBHO team member please contact: Fran Kennedy via email info@statetalking.org

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