'Modernise or Die'
As rallying cries go this was a clear one. The built environment needs 400,000 new recruits each year. People are the life blood of our industry, not bricks and mortar. Without people, we cannot build and maintain the homes, hospitals, schools, roads, rail lines, bridges, airports, power plants, offices, shops, factories and vast array of other buildings and infrastructure that our economy and communities need to function.
But drawing a new generation of talent (specifically older Generation Z 11-15yr olds) into an industry that our research report shows is still misperceived as 'muddy' 'manual' 'male dominated' and 'non-academic' is a fundamental challenge, and one that threatens £90bn of UK GDP.
When you add in a careers advice service that has struggled to keep pace with a changing industry landscape, amidst repeated budget cuts and changes in the way advice is provided, it becomes clear we need to take action.
At Kier, with the support of the Institute of Directors (IoD) and the Government backed Careers & Enterprise Company (C&EC), we are creating our 1% pledge. We pledge 1% of our workforce (200 colleagues) as Kier Career Ambassadors who will work with schools and colleges to engage with 10,000 pupils over the next 12 months... using new collateral like this new career guide .
But we can't just tackle the problem by providing careers advice resource, as this only reaches pupils and teachers, not parents who naturally have a massive influence on children's career choices. We have to do more to showcase the great things that we do - the pride and passion that our industry has and the great contributions that our people and our projects make to communities and lives.
So at Kier we have created a new pride and passion campaign, which centres around a new innovation that we are putting on our buildings and hoardings, thanks to our very supportive and collegiate clients - called Virtual World Plaques- physical plaques that digitally link to an archive of great pride and passion content all about our projects (starting with x30 sites for launch day), and a new website VIBE (virtual interactive built environment) specifically designed to appeal to older Generation Z (11-15yr olds) www.shapingyourworld.co.uk.
To make the site more engaging and socially sharable we've created content like a VIBE avatar builder, a fun and irreverent 2min quiz that results in a built environment avatar, a street scene for socialising your avatar, an interactive built environment with wow facts, a group of animated pride and passion videos and a host of real life careers information from Kier employees, as well as a new careers guide.