Engaging and encouraging high school students to pursue careers in the built environment.
Opening opportunities for young people and children, from a broad range of socioeconomic backgrounds, to reach their potential and hopefully join our industry is at the heart of our community impact programme.
Our industry all over the world struggles to attract the diverse talent needed to succeed in the long-term. We have worked with specialised community partners to reach young people who need an extra helping hand and inspire and support them to join our industry.
ACE Mentor Program of America has shown that gradually year-on-year the gender gap in our industry is closing. With a four percent increase on female uptake from the previous year, ACE’s gender ratio stands at 62 percent male and 38 percent female for 2019-2020.
We have partnered with the ACE to help facilitate this work. Founded in 1994, ACE is a free, award-winning after school programme designed to attract high school students into pursuing careers in architecture, construction and engineering, including skilled trades.
ACE is a federation of more than 70 affiliates or chapters, operating in 37 states and largely based in metropolitan areas, which deliver the programme.
More than two-thirds of ACE students are from under-represented backgrounds and a quarter of ACE seniors entering college are first-generation college students. In the 19/20 ACE year, over USD400,000 in scholarships was provided at the national level to students to support their higher education. Additional scholarships were provided to students at the local level.
We have 32 mentors across America who meet with young people through the programme. During lockdown, we undertook virtual mentoring to continue our support.
In 2019-2020 alone, our people reached more than 2,500 students across the USA. In the same year, the average number of mentor hours was more than 370 hours per mentor.
As part of this comprehensive mentoring programme, we run workshops bringing together role models from within the construction industry with young people who are interested in this industry.
In a recent survey of ACE students, nearly 80 percent of students agreed that through the programme, they have gained knowledge and skills not taught in their typical classes and that they have learned life and work skills that will help them in their careers. In this way, our work with ACE is making a positive impact on the development of future talent in our industry.
ACE has typically focused on high school students, but we are looking to continue mentorship of the ACE students we meet throughout their higher education and into their careers, including consideration of university graduates for our graduate programme.
By continuing to build on our partnership with ACE, we commit to grow our support for the next generation of under-represented young talent to pursue higher education and build fulfilling careers within our industry.
This case study is part of our annual review 2019-2020.