Bouygues UK has been shortlisted in the ‘STEM Educational Programme of the Year (Private Sector)’ Category of the Wales STEM Awards.
The only construction company in the 34 named as finalists, Bouygues UK was nominated for its STEM schools programme of activity, which includes its ‘Girls Believe Academy’. This innovative programme runs across the whole of the UK and addresses the skills gap by demonstrating to young girls who are at the critical stage in their career decision-making, the diverse career options that can be had in construction and engineering.
The academy, launched in 2021 by Bouygues UK’s women’s network WeLink, trains its staff to become academy ambassadors. The selected ambassadors reflect Bouygues UK’s diverse workforce and have a range of roles at every level in the business. They are encouraged to share their own career experiences, offering real-world examples of how they got their role, the subjects they studied at school and the enriching experiences they have had following a career in construction and engineering.
In addition, Bouygues UK, in collaboration with its partners Aspire2be, has developed digital tools that build on the foundations of the academy, such as a virtual work experience platform. This platform gives young learners an insight into Bouygues UK and the range of STEM-focused roles which exist in the business. It helps its ambassadors provide an impactful learning experience to help young girls continue to build awareness of the opportunities that the construction industry can offer, while also developing knowledge and skills through STEM and curriculum-focused activities.
The awards, which celebrate those making a difference to and championing Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in Wales, will shine a spotlight on businesses who are creating an impact on the Welsh economy, those addressing the STEM diversity gap and skills shortage and those inspiring and raising aspirations of the next generation.
Leigh Hughes, Bouygues UK’s Business Growth and Social Value Director, said: “The focal feature of the academy is to showcase the amazing women who have been instrumental in the construction of some of the most challenging and recognisable buildings around the world. This project also helps promote our internal network of STEM ambassadors, building a sense of community and shared responsibility within our own organisations.
“Using the academy as a springboard for further engagement and opportunity, young people who have taken part have gone on to do work experience with Bouygues UK and in companies within our supply chain. The opportunity for industry engagement is significant, especially for those who are facing barriers to engagement or are at a disadvantage due to social and economic circumstances.
“Bouygues UK is committed to addressing the skills gap in our industry, while also achieving gender parity in construction and engineering roles by inspiring young women to consider a career in construction and engineering. By developing ambassadors for the academy we are building our own internal network of STEM collaborators, creating a sense of community and shared responsibility within Bouygues UK. “
Simon Pridham, Managing Director of Aspire 2Be: “Our work with Bouygues UK over a number of years has been an absolute pleasure. As a fully responsible employer they completely understand the importance of engaging with young people and educating them in an exciting way around future skills, employment opportunities and STEM subjects in general. We are proud and privileged to call Bouygues UK partners at Aspire 2Be.”
Dr Louise Bright, head of judges and founder of Wales Women in STEM Network, said: “The Wales STEM Awards do such an important job recognising and celebrating the achievements of organisations and individuals working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths in Wales. This year, just like the first Wales STEM Awards, I’ve been privileged to read about the inspiring work happening around the country. I am looking forward to meeting the nominees and learning more about them and unlike our inaugural year, celebrating their success in person at the awards ceremony in October.”
All finalists across the 12 categories will now be considered by an industry-leading panel of judges, with the winners being announced at the awards ceremony at the Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel on 27th October 2022.