Wates – summer camp helps develop employability skills

The Wates Group partnered with education charity Let Me Play to host the first Wates Summer Camp, designed to encourage and inspire young people to consider a career in the built environment.

The six-day Build Yourself summer camp was held at Loughborough University, and was created to equip the students with employability skills needed to thrive in the construction industry.

The residential camp, fully funded by the Wates’ Family Enterprise Trust’s charitable programme, Wates Giving, was attended by 17 students aged 16-18. Some of the attendees were current Think Build students completing work experience in the industry, with this camp designed to support their entrance into construction. The outcome from the week residential was really positive, 100% of the students post camp agreed that the camp was relevant in informing them about careers within the industry and 64% of the students are now keen to start an apprenticeship within the industry.

Student’s Perspective

‘I really enjoyed the camp, at first I was nervous because I had to meet new people. I really enjoyed all the activities and as the week went on I felt my communications skills improve through the interactions I had with staff and team mates’ – Juwayriyah Hafiz, 17

‘The camp was fantastic. An excellent experience and I would definitely recommend it to friends’ – Isa Arif, 17

The employer’s perspective

The program was designed to give the students an exciting insight into the industry and enable them to develop the necessary skills to start a fulfilling career. The activities also contributed towards the attendees’ NCFE Level 1 Award in Employability Skills, we wanted to focus on employability skills so regardless of the careers the students go into they are ready.

Wates’ Early Careers team, which oversees employment programmes for apprentices, graduates and undergraduates, also gave the students an overview of the application process and how the Wates Group supports ambitious individuals by helping them develop the knowledge, skills and experience needed to progress their career in the industry.

Current Wates’ trainees offered first-hand accounts of their experiences in the construction industry to date whilst senior Wates’ employees John Carlin, Business Unit Director for the Midlands and Rachel Woolliscroft, Sustainability Director, provided insights into the company’s wider culture and the positive impact the construction industry has on society.


The Wates Summer Camp’s final activity involved the attendees splitting in to four groups to design a leisure centre, theatre, student accommodation or school. As well as sketching the buildings and producing models, the groups considered potential sustainability features for the building and how their design would impact on the local community.

“The purpose of the camp was to inspire young people through a fun, unforgettable and inspirational summer camp, and to help them consider the built environment as a possible career sector. Wates placed a great deal of emphasis on fostering personal growth in a supportive environment and on supporting young people to become work-ready through team building, career workshops and interpersonal development.”