Construction industry holds open doors event

Open weekends usually allow the public to glimpse behind-the-scenes of stately homes or stroll in well-tended private gardens, but a new scheme will allow people to see what is going on behind scaffolding and hoardings in the North West, and across the UK.

The construction industry is holding its first Open Doors Weekend, and it is hoped that among those venturing on to sites will be potential construction sector workers.

Organisers hope that by seeing what is going on at sites it will encourage people into the industry.

In the North west, sites which will open include the arts and design faculty at Manchester Metropolitan University, being built by Morgan Sindall; VINCI Construction UK's Wade Deacon High School, in Widness; and One St Peter's Square in Manchester from Carillion Construction.

Across the country, 23 construction employers have signed up for the pilot scheme which is spearheaded by four industry bodies: UK Contractors Group (UKCG), CITB-ConstructionSkills, The Considerate Constructors Scheme and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). They have come together to make the Open Doors Partnership.

Stephen Ratcliffe, director of UKCG and part of the partnership, said: "Construction is undergoing rapid change and needs to develop a skilled workforce to meet the challenges it faces. Nowadays construction is more about careers than jobs and the expected increase in demand for specialist and management roles in the next few years means that we need quality talent entering the industry now to fill these future positions.

"Open Doors is a unique opportunity for the industry collectively to display the complexity and scope of modern construction projects and give people a taste of what it's really like to work in the industry today. It's an exciting initiative which we hope will encourage more people to consider construction as a prospective career with good opportunities."

Other sites which are being used to entice future workers include Skanska's Brent Civic Centre in north London, and Leeds Arena, which is being constructed by BAM.

Mr Ratcliffe said: "What the public will see is a skilled, sophisticated and progressive industry, the Open Doors weekend is certain to challenge perceptions."

To register for a tour visit www.opendoorsweekend.co.uk. The scheme runs from 9am to 4pm on November 9 and 9am to 1pm on November 10.