Torquay Construction & Engineering Specialists MW Benney hosted an open-site visit and careers talk with Year 10 students at St Cuthbert Mayne, to inspire them about the rewarding careers in construction. The Year 10 students are all considering their options for further training and education after they complete their GCSEs.
MW Benney is the main contractor on the £1.6m scheme at the Torquay secondary school; part of Torbay Council’s Schools Capital Programme, project managed by TDA on behalf of Torbay Council. The investment will deliver purpose-built facilities and the refurbishment and reconfiguration of existing accommodation.
Alex Bickham, Owner and Director of MW Benney, gave an informative presentation outlining how pupils can progress through the variety of trades and training routes in the construction sector. The students were very engaged and asked lots of questions about the practicalities of the industry and the earning potential of different job roles.
Alex Bickham said: “We really enjoyed meeting the students at St Cuthbert Mayne where we’ve been working on the new facilities since April 2022. Our company has been delivering projects around Torbay for more than 100 years, having built Torquay Library and worked on the Town Hall clocktower, Princess Gardens Fountain and repairs to the sea wall.
“We’re very proud to work for Torbay Council and TDA on the Schools Capital Programme, and to be part of Build Torbay as a project partner, enabling us to give something back to the community and inspire young people about construction careers.”
St Cuthbert Mayne Careers Lead Martin Wright said: “The students really enjoyed the tour of the site and seeing the new building taking shape at their own school. They particularly enjoyed the careers presentation, with MW Benney’s Director, the Site Manager and Contracts Manager, who showcased their own journeys from being teenagers starting out in the industry and now enjoying interesting and rewarding careers in a thriving local firm.
“At St Cuthbert Mayne we prepare our students to lead successful and meaningful lives after education, and it’s clear that construction presents fantastic options for young people, whether they want to work locally or use their skills on an international stage.”
Torbay Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing, Cllr Swithin Long said: “Build Torbay aims to inspire Torbay residents to take up rewarding careers in the construction sector. There are around 180 job roles with a variety of entry routes and pathways, and it’s the UK’s second highest-paid sector after financial services. It’s also a great way for young people to pursue a career that contributes towards net-zero – which is one of the council’s key aims – as carbon reducing modern methods of construction are in high demand.”
Build Torbay has been set up by TDA to inspire a future workforce of skilled construction workers in Torbay to deliver the £300m regeneration programme, creating new spaces for people and businesses to thrive across Torquay, Paignton and Brixham.