17 December 2018

Dawnus and Techniquest have created a partnership to deliver innovative school engagement to raise the aspirations of young people to pursue a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and increase awareness of the many career opportunities within the construction industry available to all. 

The two Welsh companies are working together to challenge existing perceptions of the construction industry and send a clear message to young people that construction is a dynamic, exciting career full of possibilities. 

Dawnus is the largest building and civil engineering employer in Wales and since its inception in 2001 has built an enviable reputation for delivering high quality, innovative and sustainable projects. 

Dawnus has a long history of contributing to education at all levels from Primary through to University, reaching over 16,500 young people across Wales in the last three years. The company realises it has an important role in supporting the new evolving curriculum in Wales by providing experiences that will enhance and enrich classroom teaching. 

Dawnus has now strengthened its existing school engagement programme through its partnership with Techniquest, the UK’s longest established science centre. 

The first project developed under the new partnership was a school mentoring programme delivered to Key Stage 3 pupils, to influence subject selection and future career choices in STEM. 

Groups of mixed ability pupils from four secondary schools were engaged, linked to 21st Century School projects being delivered by Dawnus, Porth Community School, Tonypandy Community College, Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf and Whitchurch High School. A diverse set of mentors were then selected from Dawnus who acted as Role Models for the pupils and Ambassadors for the construction industry. 

Dawnus mentors and the Techniquest team provided support on a range of different topics providing opportunities for confidence building, development of communication and listening skills and practical problem solving, essential skills required for the world of work. Through the delivery of group activities and workshops the mentors promoted STEM and provided meaningful links to the world of work. 

On completion of the first project, 100% of pupils agreed that the mentoring had been beneficial to them and 100% of pupils said they knew more career options available in construction and agreed that they knew more about what employers are looking for in employees. 77% of pupils agreed that the mentoring had had an overall positive impact on their motivation in terms of independence and ambition. 

“All STEM companies are aware of a skills gap but Dawnus is doing something about it!” said Andrea Meyrick, Head of Education at Techniquest. “As a company they have committed staff time to participate on a mentoring programme. Techniquest is really excited to be working with Dawnus to make a difference to young people and help encourage the next generation of STEM professionals.” 

Nicola McCarthy, lead teacher at Porth County Community School, said: “All students have received the opportunity to work first hand with representatives from within the STEM industry, from managers to apprentices; developing employability skills as well as gaining an insight into the many job roles that exist within the industry.  Thanks for providing fun, engaging and informative workshops, we have enjoyed every minute!”

Matthew Morgan, Director for Dawnus said: Techniquest has a strong reputation in the region, and our partnership has provided a unique platform to make school engagement exciting for pupils, while building trust and improving knowledge of our sector with educators and parents. We believe in the talent in the region and look forward to further supporting these young people as they develop.”

Dawnus and Techniquest are now continuing their partnership and are currently working on a second exciting project that will reach even more pupils.