Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Homebuilder teams up with Nottingham school to give pupils an insight into construction

Pupils at a Nottinghamshire school were given a glimpse into the world of construction and engineering recently thanks to local homebuilder Barratt Homes North Midlands.

The developer has committed to deliver employment and skills opportunities in Rushcliffe, and has teamed up with FPCR Environment & Design Ltd and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to deliver the CREST challenge at South Wolds Academy in Keyworth for the fourth year running. They visited the school along with representatives from Rushcliffe Borough Council to talk to students about the variety roles available in the construction industry.

Seven employees including Gary Wootton (Senior Architectural Technician), Chloe Nash (Apprentice Architectural Technician), Lois Dickens (Quantity Surveyor), Samantha Wheatley (Assistant Buyer), Steve Hallam (Site Manager), Zoe Nightingale (Marketing Assistant) and Mike Attfield (Senior Contracts Manager), accompanied by Nick Law, Principal Ecologist at FPCR, shared an insight into their roles and experiences with the Year 9 group as part of the launch of the Sustainable Communities CREST Challenge, which also saw the pupils undertake a Giant Tetrahedron team challenge, facilitated by Barratt Homes Construction Ambassadors.

The Sustainable Communities CREST Challenge will now be undertaken within school during the summer term as part of their Geography lessons.

The winning groups from the school will attend the Cotgrave Strategic Board, overseen by Rushcliffe Borough Council, later in the year, where they will have the chance to present their work to the Board.

Matt Horridge, Technical Manager for Barratt Homes North Midlands, who is also responsible for overseeing the delivery of such partnerships, said:

“By working with our partners on schemes such as CREST, and by engaging with students at an early age, we aim to encourage more young people to consider a career in construction.

“The housebuilding sector in particular offers a tremendous variety of roles and career opportunities for everyone and Barratt is proud to be one of 70 companies who have signed up to the Home Building Skills Pledge to collaboratively address the UK skills shortage in housebuilding. The Home Builders Skills Partnership website has everything you need to know about getting into our growing industry”.

The Sustainable Communities CREST Challenge has been developed by the CITB, in conjunction with the British Science Association, and invites students to work in groups to design a small housing development, using skills from STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), whilst gaining a better understanding of the construction industry.

Meg Hankinson, Local Advisor for the CITB, said:

“We are pleased to support a scheme that is dedicated to encouraging uptake and interest in STEM subjects.

“Many students don’t know how Maths and Science subjects are used in construction so it’s a great opportunity to demonstrate this first hand. It’s an innovative and exciting way to get young people interested in construction careers and make clear those connections.”

Barratt Homes North Midlands is the lead homebuilder involved in the redevelopment of the former colliery in Cotgrave, called Hollygate Park, which is located close to the school within the Borough of Rushcliffe, and is bringing new homes, community investment and jobs to the area. The homebuilder also gave a presentation to the students about Hollygate Park and the work that has gone into its planning, design and development.

Sarah Brooks, Deputy Head Teacher at South Wolds Academy, said: “We were delighted to welcome Barratt Homes, FPCR , and representatives from Rushcliffe Borough Council into the Academy.

“At South Wolds we aim to provide the very best careers education for all of our students. This event will widen understanding of the broad range of opportunities and roles open to young people in the construction sector. Students were enthused by the activities on offer and enjoyed collaborating with industry professionals.”

The £100 million Barratt Homes North Midlands Hollygate Park development will provide a mix of affordable and private homes. This project is being overseen jointly by a partnership of Barratt Developments (of which Barratt Homes are part), Rushcliffe Borough Council and the Homes and Communities Agency.

The award-winning ‘Built for Life’ homes are designed to Lifetime Homes standards, which means that they are future proofed to cater for all stages of family life and include features such as wide doorways, the ability to install through-the-floor lifts and ceiling hoists and easily adaptable rooms in order to live comfortably downstairs.

For more information about the homes for sale at Hollygate Park please go to or call 0844 811 3377.

For more information on the Home Builders Skills Partnership please visit

< Back