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Encouraging Youth into Scaffolding with SIMIAN

17th April 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of the construction industry, one of the challenges remains attracting younger generations into traditionally hands-on roles such as scaffolding. In the UK, where the demand for skilled labour in construction is high, bridging this gap becomes imperative for the industry’s sustainable growth. However, enticing young people into the scaffolding profession poses challenges, from misconceptions about the nature of the work to the lack of awareness about available opportunities.

SIMIAN stands at the forefront of addressing this issue and we are committed to inspiring the next generation of scaffolders. Recognising the importance of early engagement, SIMIAN have implemented various initiatives aimed at sparking interest and providing pathways for young individuals to explore and pursue careers in scaffolding.

One of the strategies employed by SIMIAN is collaboration with educational institutions through our London-based Business Development Manager Sara Calvo. Through the Enterprise Advisor role, Sara works alongside Careers Leads at secondary schools, offering support in career information, advice, and guidance. By engaging with students from Year 9 and above, Sara endeavours to instil awareness and understanding of the diverse career prospects within the construction industry, particularly emphasising the opportunities available through apprenticeship programs.

Central to Sara’s approach is the creation of a programme of construction interactive workshops in partnership with industry giants like Taylor Wimpey. These workshops not only introduce students to the fundamentals of scaffolding but also provide insights into employability skills crucial for success in the construction sector. By offering hands-on experience and practical knowledge, SIMIAN empowers young individuals to make informed decisions about their career paths.

Speaking about her work as an enterprise advisor, Sara says:

“Being an enterprise advisor allows me to engage with and inspire school children about the endless possibilities within the scaffolding industry. Empowering the next generation is something I feel passionately about and aim to inspire as many young people to get into the construction industry as possible!”

In addition, SIMIAN hosts annual career fairs during National Apprenticeship Week, providing a platform for students to interact with industry professionals, sample various trades, and gain first-hand insights into construction careers and apprenticeship opportunities. These events serve as catalysts for informed decision-making, enabling students to envision themselves as part of the vibrant construction workforce.

As well as workshops and career fairs, SIMIAN also organises specialised sessions, offering school kids a glimpse into the world of scaffolding and roofing through three-hour workshops. These immersive experiences not only demystify the scaffolding profession but also inspire curiosity and passion for the craft among young participants.

Simon, SIMIAN Managing Director comments:

“At SIMIAN, we believe that engaging younger generations is key to the sustainability and growth of the scaffolding industry. We know that inspiring and nurturing talent from a young age not only enriches individuals but also solidifies the future of our profession. Through innovative engagement, hands-on experiences, and meaningful partnerships, we strive to ignite passion and curiosity in younger minds, empowering them to shape the scaffolding landscape of tomorrow.”