News - 11 April 2022

Future makers get a helping hand from industry role models

A programme designed to support young people, particularly females, who maybe considering or exploring a career working in the built environment, including designing, architecture, surveying and structural engineering, has recently been launched at the new Digital Centre at Chesterfield College.

The programme aims to help students develop their knowledge and understanding of the sector and career opportunities, broaden their horizons and build knowledge and awareness of career pathways. It also helps build their self-confidence and communication skills as well as helping them to learn about planning and organising.

Championed and supported by the D2N2 Careers Hub, led by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and funded by the Careers & Enterprise Company, the programme builds on a successful pilot programme run in 2021 in partnership with the Chesterfield Property and Construction Forum and Chesterfield Borough Council.

The launch event brought together mentors and role models from local companies, including Whitham Cox Architects, Harworth Group, Henry Boot Construction, Barrett Homes, Mascot Management and Airmaster, and matched them with students from local secondary schools and colleges.

Students got to meet their mentors, interview them and learn about their companies, jobs and own career journeys, including a team building challenge at Chesterfield based company CBE+. Each student was set an individual bespoke project by their mentor, which they will work together on over the next few months relating to their role and company.

Project Manager Alex Gardner, the Work-wise Foundation, who is helping to deliver the programme, commented: “It’s just great to see the mentors and mentees getting to know each other and really gelling as a team straight away! What I really love is the enthusiasm and commitment being shown by everyone. The individual challenges set by the mentors all join together to tell the story of a development from initial survey and design to finished structure. This is an added bonus we hadn’t initially envisaged”

Mentor, Katie Burnham from Henry Boot Construction Limited, said “I think the first two initial sessions are brilliant as introduction/ice breakers to the students. It’s been a brilliant opportunity to network as well as participate in the mentoring programme and I think the support from St Mary’s career team is really helping their students to get the best out of the programme.

“All the students seem really engaged with the opportunity and that’s brilliant to see and be involved with. The bridge building activity was a great opportunity to teamwork and learn about the learning style of our mentees”.

Will Morlidge, Interim Chief Executive at D2N2 LEP, said: “Providing young people with meaningful encounters and showcasing opportunities to inspire them into a sector and career is central to the work of the D2N2 LEP Careers Hub.

“It has been fantastic to see this develop from last year’s pilot and we are proud to be funding the new programme. Making links between our ambitious young people and some of our region’s key employers is just one of the ways our Careers Hub is supporting inclusive economic growth.”

For the employers, the programme helps them to make a real difference in a young person’s confidence, knowledge, job and career prospects while developing their own communication and leadership skills and potentially identifying future employees. It also provides a great networking opportunity with others in the sector and a chance to showcase the business and industry as a great place to work.

The learning and outcomes from the mentor and student partnerships and projects will be showcased at a Celebration Event back at Chesterfield College on 8th July 2022.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the project or opportunities to get involved should contact the D2N2 Careers Hub at or contact Work-Wise at or call 07736 362067.

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