Stepnell Work Insights Programme

Category: Frameworks

Our recent work insight programme welcomed students from five schools and colleges across the D2N2 area to our Nottingham office for four days of work experience. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with students enjoying the talks delivered by professionals from all areas of construction, engaging in associated activities, and having the opportunity to complete a group project which they presented to a panel of judges at the end of the week.

High quality careers education is anchored in a framework known as the Gatsby Benchmarks.

The eight benchmarks of Good Career Guidance are:

  1. A stable careers programme
  2. Learning from career and labour market information
  3. Addressing the needs of each pupil
  4. Linking curriculum learning to careers
  5. Encounters with employers and employees
  6. Experiences of workplaces
  7. Encounters with further and higher education
  8. Personal guidance

Gatsby Benchmark 6 states:
By the age of 16, every pupil should have had at least one experience of a workplace, in addition to any part-time jobs they may have.” Schools are increasingly challenged to help students find such experiences, even as people return to office settings. Our offering supports schools in achieving this goal and aims to broaden young people’s understanding of construction.

“What does construction mean to you?”

This was the initial question posed to our students, resulting in a word cloud highlighting key themes such as teamwork, building, architecture, and planning.

Throughout the week, we deepened their understanding of the approximately 300 careers available in our industry through presentations covering bid writing, social value, marketing, business development, construction management, design, sustainability, quantity surveying, estimating, and IT. Fay, our business development manager, guided them in essential networking skills, such as choosing which group to join at events, confidently shaking hands, and crafting elevator pitches.


Many students expressed a keen interest in learning about apprenticeships and discovered that people’s initial career choices often evolve into unexpected industries and roles.

P, Year 10
“I feel like a lot of the talks were eye-opening and provided me with loads of encouragement to keep trying to do what I enjoy, regardless of what others might say, because there are plenty of opportunities along the way.”

Throughout the week, they honed their teamwork, planning, and decision-making abilities while working on their group project. This culminated in presentations to a panel of judges comprising three Stepnell employees and a careers teacher. 

The work insight programme was a great way to introduce people to our industry and also for us to learn about them, with a view to them as potential employees. Our succession planning requires us to spot talent in order to ensure a future workforce, and work experience provides an excellent opportunity for an extended interview. 


To find out how much they enjoyed the week and help us improve the experience for future participants, we asked the students for some feedback. 

What did you enjoy?

  • Group project
  • Talks from professionals
  • Activities

What could we improve?

  • More on-site or office experience
  • Space the talks and activities differently

Get in touch

Our work experience and insight opportunities are coordinated by our social value managers
Sue (East Midlands), Tash (Midlands) and Lindsay (South). If you would like to find out more, please email

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