Wates, Careers in Construction – Your Journey Starts Here

North West Local Impact Award, Business Class, Winner 2013

Business Class is Business in the Community’s flagship education programme supporting long-term strategic partnerships between business and secondary schools. Wates have been partnered with St Matthew RC High School in Manchester for 3 years and have focused their partnership on Careers in Construction, raising skills, inspiration and experience to grow their future workforce


  • 40% of students attending the Careers in Construction course achieved better grades as the course progressed, with 76% of students achieving a C or above in construction
  • 50% of students have show improved attendance record since starting the Careers in Construction course.
  • Both parents and teachers have reported a positive change in attitude from the students involved


  • The Business Class partnership has provided career development opportunities for staff, with Careers in Construction Leader, Liam Manton progressing from being unemployed to now being part of the regional bid team
  • Involvement in the Business Class programme has contributed to successfully winning tender for work from organisations such as Trafford Housing Trust
  • Through the project Wates hopes to be supporting the development of a skilled, engaged workforce of the future

Our partnership with Wates has proved invaluable to our staff and students. The results have been outstanding with the change in attitudes being most apparent. Some of our most disengaged students are taking part in this course and the positive impact is has had upon their behaviour is fantastic. Wates has also support us in ways beyond Business Class, including a local site team giving their time to remodel an area of our school year into a garden which is being used for study across the curriculum.

- Rachel Walsh,
Teacher, St Matthews RC High School, Moston, Manchester
Wates are committed to supporting the communities in which they live and work and the people within them. Their national Reshaping Tomorrow programme prioritises community issues with a focus on raising aspirations and skills of young people, creating local employment and training opportunities and providing opportunities for their own employees to give something back.

To maximise the impact of their engagement with young people, they entered into a Business Class partnership with St Matthew RC High School in Moston, Manchester, one of the most deprived wards in England.

Working with the school they created a programme of activity to develop vocational skills and raise career aspirations by tackling issues created by generations of worklessness. In their 3rd year of partnership they have created a Careers in Construction programme to consolidate activity. The programme has been designed to open up the career pathways for the schools’ Year 11 construction students and address the barriers they face, such as parental engagement.

The programme comprises a series of activities from role model talks to visits to construction sites and manufacturers alongside mentoring, training and support with CVs and interview skills. Students attend one activity a month and will be awarded certification as proof of completion. This is now being developed into a Business in the Community ‘passport’ and being used as best practice across the Manchester Business Class cluster.

Careers in Construction is the brainchild of Wates’ employee Liam Manton, having worked closely with the school, Business in the Community and other key partners including Wates supply chain.