PRESS RELEASE: ‘How Construction Could Save the World’ Tops 400

  • Virtual careers conference for students and teachers entitled  “How Construction Could Save the World” currently boasts over 400 tickets booked;
  • While school buildings remain closed to many pupils, Careers Leads must continue to provide careers advice that meets the eight Gatsby Benchmarks;
  • The perception of careers in construction is an ongoing struggle, and over 90%* of young people would not consider a career in the industry;
  • In the 2019/20 academic year, there was an 11%** drop in apprenticeship starts


LONDON, UK: Built Environment Skills in Schools (BESS) today announced the first wave of speakers for a virtual construction careers conference for students and teachers on Thursday 11th June, entitled “How Construction Could Save the World”. With over 400 tickets booked, the subject is proving very popular with young people and educators.

The conference covers four main topic themes – Environment, Technology, People and Emergencies – and the world-saving speakers include:

  • Cristina Lanz Azcarate, Chartered Architect and Director and Co-founder of Autelier EURA
  • Sharon Lashley, owner of Enviro UK Consultants and founder of community interest company Climate Action North
  • Mik Scarlet, Access and Inclusion expert and wheelchair user, broadcaster and journalist
  • Anusha Shah, Director of Resilient Cities at Arcadis and visiting professor at King’s College London
  • Cec Richards, CEO of the Slenky social opportunities platform for young people
  • Mike Brooman, CEO of Vanti and Pioneer for Smart and Intelligent Buildings

Kathryn Lennon-Johnson, founder of BESS, said, “We are delighted that so many students, teachers and Careers Leads have responded positively to our event and I hope individuals from construction will join us, too. This conference is designed to inspire young people with the purpose and responsibility that the construction industry wields, and its potential to directly shape our futures. In many local and global senses, the world is facing significant challenges that must be addressed. The aftermath of COVID19 is making things very uncertain for everyone, but it is vital to recognise the support required by those who haven’t yet joined the workforce. The world must look very daunting to them, but time won’t stand still as they attempt to make choices about career pathways and qualifications.”

According to the CITB Changing Perceptions report, just one in three careers guidance professionals (32%) believed they had a ‘good’ knowledge of the industry, with 13% admitting to not having a good knowledge, and the remaining 54% describing their knowledge as ‘limited’.

BESS has encouraged the industry to come forward and support this large-scale event financially through tickets priced at £40, or sponsorship opportunities starting from £50. Tickets can be booked through Eventbrite: