Good news story – Plan Group

James Dean, Construction Manager of Plan Group has provided this story relating to Be Inclusive

Please provide a brief background and some context.

My interest is giving back to the industry and engaging with career coordinators of local schools and providing real opportunities or advice to students who would like to pursue the construction industry as a professional career. Providing a career pathway or opportunity for students that would like to pursue a career within the construction industry is driver of me personally and one we are committed to at Plan Group Geelong.

What steps did you take to make a change?

In 2020, we partnered with St Joseph’s College to provide a student from the postcode 3215 with some work experience during the school holidays. The student expressed their passion of becoming involved in the construction industry, yet didn’t really know what he would like to pursue as a profession. The opportunity we provided exposed the student to a range of different trade disciplines along with a small insight into construction management should he stay at school and pursue University.

What was different after the change?

The student was initially shy and reserved when I first met him to being very confident and outgoing within a few months the last time I spoke with him on one of our sites. This opportunity actually led to a career pathway for the student who is now working within the construction industry as an apprentice bricklayer with a Geelong business and the employer has informed me recently that the apprentice has transformed into a motivated and hardworking team member with a clear sense of belonging and purpose in his work.

What was the outcome?

A great experience for all involved and very rewarding personally. We are proposing to do this once again with St Joseph’s College in 2021 along with providing ongoing assistance with the careers department via attendance at the school’s career day to further discuss the construction industry with their students, endeavouring to assist and motivate future construction professionals.