Working with local communities is at the core of Higgins Construction’s business and at every project the company engages with local schools and colleges to offer bespoke educational initiatives which will suit the age and ability of the pupils in question. The aim is to show that the construction industry is more than just ‘bricks and mortar’; it’s about community values and creating a lasting legacy that local people can be part of.
This year has seen Higgins sign up to become a partner of Enabling Enterprise and a whole series of educational days have been organized across the sites. Enabling Enterprise works in partnership with schools and employers to bring the world of work into classrooms through lesson-time projects and challenge days. The trips are an invaluable ways of broadening children’s’ aspirations and making the connection between classroom learning and real life.
Jeff Joseph, Community Investment Manager at Higgins Construction comments, “We have had some fantastic visits with schools this year which has allowed them to develop their enterprise skills and understand how these skills can be transferred into the world of work. For many of the students it was the first time visiting a construction site and they all seemed to get a great deal out of the visit.”
Mike Zatyka, Development Manager at Enabling Enterprise commented, “We are delighted that Higgins Construction signed up to be one of our partners this year. The opportunity for students to work alongside adults who are not their parents or teachers is also hugely important in developing students’ confidence and aspirations.”
A group of 20, year 5 pupils from Alderton Junior School in Loughton visited Higgins’ head office to take part in the ‘Terrific Towers’ problem solving and team work event. As part of the session the children were divided into teams and worked on the challenge to design a brand new tower to mark the city’s sky-line. The design had to be inspired by an object or shape and the students had to ensure that the design stayed within their construction budget when choosing what resources to use, such as newspaper, sello-tape, felt-tips and scissors. Students then decided on whether their tower was for business, residential or tourist use and how much to spend on their fit-out budget, before finally preparing to share their work at the construction fair.
Based in Lambeth, 30 pupils from year 5 at Archbishop Sumner CofE Primary School visited Myatts Field Estate to experience a trip to a local business and were particularly keen to hone in on Leading and Imagination! After a tour of the site, the students were put into teams which were facilitated by staff from Higgins and Pinnacle, to take on the Brilliant Build enterprise challenge.
Working in a team, the challenge for the students was to redevelop an empty site in the centre of the community and create a space that would benefit the local people and the environment. Before sharing ideas and deciding on what they were going to construct, the teams needed to look at the needs of the people in the community and also had to ensure that the new development was environmentally friendly. After building a model of their planned building space, the teams then ended the day by presenting their ideas to a judging panel.
The Enabling Enterprise programmes are designed to focus on eight core skills that are essential building blocks in a student’s education: teamwork and leadership; listening and presenting; aiming high and staying positive; problem solving and creativity.