One of the UK’s most influential women in Engineering and Construction has praised the high standard of teaching after studying with Capital City College Group (CCCG).
Phebe Mann, who is Chair of the Institution of Civil Engineers London for 2022-23, completed a Plumbing Level 2 Diploma at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London and a short course in Home Repair and Maintenance for Women at Westminster Kingsway College.
She studied both courses having already established an illustrious engineering and legal career spanning more than three decades and gaining a PhD and four Master’s Degrees.
Phebe is a chartered engineer, chartered surveyor, chartered construction manager and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. She was named in the Women in Engineering Society’s Top 50 Women in Engineering 2018.
She has a PhD Collaborative Design, MSc Bridge Engineering, MSc Construction Management, MA (Cantab) Computer Science, LLM Construction Law and is a qualified barrister.
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She has worked as a Specialist Judge for the Upper Tribunal and General Regulatory Chamber and has completed engineering projects for Westminster City Council and Cambridge County Council, as well as being a Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster, University of Reading, University of East London and Open University.
Phebe decided to enrol on both courses to develop her practical construction skills and increase her awareness of the trades to enable her to better address a national shortage of workers in the UK.
She said: “The students were very enthusiastic in their learning. The lecturers were excellent and devoted to sharing the skills of their professions and we learnt a great deal from the exercises and the feedback they gave us. They also provided high-quality videos of each topic, which we could view repeatedly until we understood the requirements of the course.
“My lecturer for the plumbing practical class was very patient and empathetic to his students as he explained the steps we needed to take and the health and safety requirements for each task. He had a genuine understanding of his students and adapted his teaching to meet their individual needs.”
Phebe is passionate about encouraging and inspiring more women to follow in her footsteps and pursue engineering and construction careers.
She said: “Girls tend to do better than boys in GCSE and A Level results including science, mathematics and computing. These are all important skills for engineers and construction. Women excel in skills such as good communication, innovation, creativity and analysis. They should not be intimidated by working in a male-dominated industry.”
According to the Engineering UK and there is a shortfall of 173,000 workers in the STEM sector, while the Construction Skills Network says 266,000 new workers are needed by 2026
“If you are passionate about engineering, discover your potentials, seek opportunities, equip yourself, develop a positive learning attitude and be determined to be successful,” said Phebe.
“Don’t be discouraged by failures. Every success is built on many failures. Don’t give up if you believe you can do it.”
Students from Westminster Kingsway College had the chance to gain a real insight into the building industry after undertaking work placements with Morgan Sindall Construction.
Around 20 Construction students visited the Bedford Passage building site in Cleveland Street, Camden, which is being redeveloped by the University College London Hospital Charity.
The £50 million project is due for completion in 2024 and will comprise and NHS medical centre along with a mix of commercial and residential properties including social housing.
Ronnie Sheehan, 16, and Frankie Paul, 17, were among four students chosen by Morgan Sindall Construction to gain an extra week’s work experience after visiting the site.
Ronnie said: “I would like to do something at a management level. I’m interested in being a quantity surveyor as I really like maths and working with numbers, it’s the challenge.
“Being on site has opened my eyes to what a construction environment is really like. You get to see it for yourself, it’s not stuff you can learn in a book. There were trades on site that I hadn’t ever have heard of, but they make sense when you think about it.”
Frankie said: “I’m on an electrical course and I’d like to be hands-on with a trade on a construction site. I’m more of a practical learner, that’s how my brain works best, so being here on site and seeing things for myself has been brilliant.
“Work experience like this is a really good opportunity to make sure this is the career route you want to pursue. Being on site has shown me how much more goes on here; all the deliveries and organising trades, etc. It’s not something you always think about in the classroom.”
During the initial visit, students were given a tour by Daniel Mayger, an Apprentice Site Manager, and Freddie Thomas, who is on a year’s placement as part of a BA (Hons) Quantity Surveying.
Daniel told the students about his apprenticeship and showed them how the piles were driven into the ground and concrete was poured over them to make watertight walls.
The students further heard from a site engineer and a groundworks contractor about their work on the site. They also took part in an insulation pricing workshop and learnt about risk assessments and the legal and commercial aspects of construction.
Paul Jennings, Community Investment Manager at Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “Construction is not often seen as a career choice, but the industry needs to recruit new people to fulfil future roles and developments in the industry.
“The Government’s plan to drive economic growth through infrastructure delivery will only be achieved with the recruitment of a skilled workforce. These skills are not just site based; there are exciting career opportunities in HR, marketing, finance, procurement and business development.
“It is vital we continue to strengthen links with educational institutions such as Westminster Kingsway College to train our workforce of the future.”
Find out more about Construction courses and apply here.
Jobseekers had the chance to find out more about new employment opportunities and gaining work skills when they attended a Careers and Enterprise Day at Westminster Kingsway College.
The event was run with the Central District Alliance (CDA) business improvement district, which is partnering the college’s Mayor of London Digital and Hospitality Academy Hubs that launched earlier this year.
The CDA represents more than 400 businesses in central London and has backed the hubs to help its members upskill their staff and recruit new talent in the aftermath of the COVID pandemic.
Mayor of Camden Cllr Nasim Ali was the special guest at the event at the college’s King’s Cross Centre, which was held to coincide with Global Entrepreneurship Week last month.
CCCG’s apprenticeship and training provider Capital City College Training and entrepreneurship programme Visionnaires, a subsidiary of CCCG, were also present at the event.
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Among the other organisations that attended were Transport for London, Camden Council, Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade, DHL, Cutlass Security Group, Bidvest Noonan, London Communications Agency and Digital Influx.
There were also stands from several hospitality and entertainment businesses including Pret, Shaftesbury Theatre, Travelodge, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Imperial London Hotels, Kimpton Fitzroy London and Strand Palace.
Visitors had the opportunity to attend employability sessions with Samsung, LinkedIn and Edwardian Hotels, and have free professional headshots taken for their LinkedIn profiles.
Fashion and Communication Level 3 Diploma students modelled outfits for a fashion show sponsored by Dress for Success and Burton, which included advice on how to dress for a job interview.
There were also live demonstrations from students from the college’s School for Hospitality and Culinary Arts in Victoria.
Attendees also had chance to win a tablet or one of several mobile phones in a prize draw.
Find out more information and apply for courses and apprenticeships at WestKing here.
Students on Westminster Kingsway College’s Career Ready Programme were treated to an online masterclass on 23 April with renowned global design and consultancy firm Arcadis.
The Career Ready Programme is a prestigious year-long employability programme for disadvantaged 16-18 year olds, which prepares them for the world of work and their future success. Together with a network of employers, the programme consists of three main parts: mentoring with an experienced professional; access to a series of employability masterclasses; and a summer internship where they apply their knowledge and get real life work experience.
Due to the current lockdown, the ‘Live Industry Insight’ masterclass took place virtually via Microsoft Teams with Arcadis’ Management Consultant Laura Reynolds, who covered everything from what a Management Consultant does, to diversity in the sector and why working for Google is perceived so well.
The masterclass proved popular with 25 students taking part. Laura spoke about her career to date, how she became a Management Consultant and why academic qualifications are not the be all and end all to forging your way in the industry.
She also discussed her recent project with a technology client, who were looking to roll out new ways of working and deliver a cutting-edge workspace, to be leaders in their industry. Laura explained that the average cost of a single desk space in London today is roughly £10,000 per year. With a large workforce and space challenges in cities, a more worthwhile use of space is to match it to usage patterns by providing more collaborative and creative spaces. Laura talked through the process of finding innovative solutions to maximise productivity and drive down costs whilst keeping the client company’s ‘fun’ ethos.
During the masterclass students were highly engaged and posed questions on progression in the sector and tips for success. They really enjoyed the masterclass, with one student commenting: “It was good to know about the different jobs you can do and how your qualifications and also interests can help you stand out and have a successful career.” Another student said, “It was really interesting to hear from someone who has been in a position that we will be in and the decisions they made while there. The thing I’ll take from the event is that she did the degree she loved and then found a job she enjoyed.”
Afterwards Laura told us: “I had a fantastic time hosting the first session for WestKing’s Career Ready’s Virtual Masterclass series. As a management consultant working at Arcadis, I hoped to give the students a flavour of what it is like to work in a fast-paced, client-facing environment for a leading engineering consultancy. I volunteered because I wanted to challenge stereotypes that might exist in students’ minds about what “type of person” a management consultant is. The students were incredibly engaged and responsive, posing challenging questions and displaying to me that they really connected with the essence of what management consulting is and that they had a sincere passion to grow their own careers.”
Carlo Liu, Employability and Progression Lead at WestKing said: “Now more than ever, young people – especially those who are disadvantaged – need to be able to boost their employability and showcase their talents, which is why we are continuing to connect our learners with employers and industry with live activities like this. The Arcadis team were involved in planning the session, to ensure our learners had an interesting and insightful masterclass. It was a great live session!”
Driven by its success, the Employability Team aim to host a masterclass for each curriculum area during the lockdown period, ensuring that as many students as possible can benefit.
If you would like to find out more, please contact our Employability and Progression Lead, Carlo Liu, at email@example.com