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Inspiring the next generation through ‘Adopt a School’

G F Tomlinson Red


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Adopt A School is a social value initiative that has been championed by G F Tomlinson. The scheme aims to promote a career in construction as an aspirational choice to children of schooling age, and highlight the range of job opportunities that the industry affords.

G F Tomlinson ‘adopted’ The Bemrose School after delivering a refurbishment to its sports hall and technology block in 2016, and have more recently completed a primary extension to increase the school’s capacity by 67%, increasing admissions by an 15 extra pupil places each year. The projects were delivered via the empa framework, which has since been superseded by the Regional Construction framework, using Lungfish Architects and the Sunesis Keynes model.

Since the initiative began, pupils at the inner-city Derby school, ranging from age 3-19, have benefited from practical and career-related support from the G F Tomlinson team. The construction-themed activities on offer have included:

  • Visits to construction sites to enable pupils to learn about specific trades such as plumbing and joinery;
  • Interactive careers and site safety talks;
  • Work experience placements at G F Tomlinson’s Derby Head Office and across its construction sites;
  • Mock interview sessions for over 150 students to support their interview technique improvement.

As a school we aim to introduce all of our pupils to activities and experiences which don’t necessarily fit into the normal school curriculum, but will enhance their breadth of knowledge and skills once they leave school.

Neil Wilkinson, Executive Headteacher at The Bemrose School

Executive headteacher at The Bemrose School, Neil Wilkinson, continued: "We have enjoyed a great working relationship with G F Tomlinson for almost three years, which began with the refurbishment and re-roofing of the sports centre at the secondary school. This was followed by a state-of-the-art extension to the existing primary school, which has benefited the entire community.

"Not only was G F Tomlinson sensitive to the fact that the city centre school, which is located in a large residential area, remained fully operational for the duration of the project, they have allowed our students to carry out work experience on the building site, providing skills and training opportunities for many of our young people."

Kevin Dodds, operations manager at G F Tomlinson and enterprise adviser for The Bemrose School, works with the school to add value to the school’s careers, enterprise and employer engagement strategy.

Kevin said: "We feel it’s our responsibility to share our knowledge and expertise with young people and initiatives such as ‘Adopt a School’ help us do this, giving students insight into the industry and the importance of the roles within it."

Victoria Brambini, Managing Director, SCAPE Procure, said: "G F Tomlinson’s relationship with The Bemrose School is a fantastic example of the longer-term partnering benefits achieved through our frameworks. As well as enabling the client to increase whole school capacity by 15 extra pupil places per year, social value initiatives such as ‘Adopt A School’ leave a lasting legacy for the school and its students, long after the refurbishment and extension projects have been completed.

"The initiatives offered by G F Tomlinson play a vital role in educating the next generation, helping to challenge the skills gap currently facing the industry by inspiring our future workforce at an early age."

With the ‘Adopt a School’ programme now in its third year, G F Tomlinson plans to continue its support of The Bemrose School with future career and work experience initiatives.