The Portakabin Group has expanded its work with schools, universities and young people with a range of new initiatives as part of its corporate social responsibility programme. So far this financial year, the Group has helped 16 schools and universities and more than 550 pupils and students – a significant increase on the same period last year.
Recent activities range from interview practice days and mentoring programmes in schools, supporting careers events, providing research projects for university students, to stimulating interest in apprenticeships and encouraging more children to consider science, technology and manufacturing as a career.
Derek Carter, Chief Executive of the Portakabin Group, said: “We want to harness the enthusiasm and expertise of our staff from across the Portakabin Group to inspire young people and open up a world of opportunities and possibilities. Our aim is to help them develop their confidence, life skills, and give them an insight into different career choices, how business works, the fantastic construction industry and into a great British manufacturer.
“A business the size of the Portakabin Group definitely has an important and valuable role to play in supporting education – from schools and apprentices to university masters students. We want to deliver more initiatives that engage our team members and impact positively on the communities in which we live and work.”
The community education projects have included:
Participating in the national STEM Ambassador Mentoring scheme – a network of volunteer mentors to help excite and encourage students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics;
An interview day with Thirsk School to help students prepare for choices they will make post-16 and gain practical interview experience;
Hosting an aspirations taster day at Huntington Secondary School to provide practical advice to students about entering the career market place and apprenticeship opportunities;
A careers event at Canon Lee School to broaden students’ knowledge about the different pathways into employment and further and higher education, and what skills and attributes employers are looking for;
Participation in Science Week at Huntington Primary School to stimulate children’s interest in a career in science and manufacturing;
Work with Archbishop Holgate’s School to support their School Industry Day and help a team of students take a business idea from initial concept to a fully costed business plan;
A mock interview day at Millthorpe School where practice interviews were carried out with year 10 students to help them become better prepared for work experience interviews and increase their confidence;
Volunteering and supply of materials to help transform an area of wasteland into an allotment for disabled and underprivileged children;
Support of local events such as Venturefest – which showcases Yorkshire’s most inspiring science, technology and innovative entrepreneurs, and the York Jobs Fair to help connect job seekers with employers and training providers;
An apprentices’ seminar to help stimulate students’ interest in apprenticeships and offer practical advice, and CV writing and interview tips;
Work with masters students at the University of York on environmental research projects for the Portakabin Group;
Collaboration with students at York St John’s University on the development of presentation skills in preparation for entering the work place.
The Portakabin Group is committed to corporate social responsibility and to engaging its staff, supporting the communities in which it operates, providing service excellence and reducing the impact of its operations on the environment. The Group measures, monitors and reports on these activities using the Business in the Community (BITC) Index. BITC is the Prince of Wales’ business-led charity that focuses on promoting responsible business practice, transforming communities, and tackling social and environmental issues.
As a major force in the modular buildings and off-site construction sectors, the Portakabin Group aims to lead by example and its employees consistently demonstrate their ability to make a real difference by getting involved in local community projects, volunteering and fundraising activities.