Construction industry invites public to first 'Open Doors' weekend

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Members of the public will get a chance to take a behind-the-scenes look at some of the UK’s most ambitious building sites next month as part of the construction industry’s first ever ‘Open Doors’ weekend.

A total of 91 construction sites across England, Scotland and Wales will be opening their doors on 9 and 10 November for tours and talks.

Some sites will restrict access to a viewing platform for health and safety reasons, but others will enable visitors to walk through the site with a guide.

The event aims to present “construction in an engaging and interesting way and showcase the dynamic, exciting career opportunities that if offers”, its organisers said.

Among the sites taking part are the Olympics Aquatic Centre by Balfour Beatty; Tate Modern’s extension by Mace; Skanska’s Brent Civic Centre in North London; Leeds Arena by BAM, and Carillion’s Southmead Hospital in Bristol.

Speaking on behalf of the Open Doors Partnership, Stephen Ratcliffe, director, UK Contractors Group said: “Construction is undergoing rapid change and needs to develop a skilled workforce to meet the challenges it faces.

“Nowadays construction is more about careers than jobs, and the expected increase in demand for specialist and management roles in the next few years means we need quality talent entering the industry now to fill these future positions.

“‘Open Doors’ is a unique opportunity for the industry collectively to display the complexity and scope of modern construction projects and give people a taste of what it’s really like to work in the industry today."

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(See Hamish Champ's blog.)