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CITB NI calls on construction industry to ‘Adopt a School’ and help build the next generation

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CITB NI calls on construction industry to ‘Adopt a School’ and help build the next generation

February 03
09:28 2022
Helping to launch the new CITB NI ‘Adopt a School’ scheme at St Malachy’s High School Castlewellan were Amanda Stevenson from CITB NI, Dainora Tautkute, Year 11 pupil, Claire Quinn from Quinn Piling, Damien Doran from NuLine Utilities, Sinead McNulty, head of careers St Malachy’s HS and Dylan Flanagan, Year 13 pupil

Construction Industry Training Board NI (CITB NI) has joined up with NI construction employers on a new scheme called ‘Adopt a School’, aimed at encouraging young people to think about a career in construction.

The construction industry in Northern Ireland employs around 65,000 workers, which is set to increase to 67,200 by the end of 2025.

This requires a recruitment of 1,000 new workers per year to sustain this level of growth in order for the industry to meet these needs.

‘Adopt a School’ is an opportunity to improve young people’s knowledge of the sector, show the many diverse pathways into the industry, as well as dispel misconceptions such as a career in construction is limited to bricklayers, plumbers and architects or that it’s only a job for boys.

The scheme provides opportunities for Northern Ireland construction companies to build relations with post primary schools in their local area by providing direct support for schools with construction industry careers activities ranging from careers talks, events, work experience opportunities and site visits.

Although the Northern Ireland construction industry is experiencing good levels of growth, there are major issues facing the industry including an ageing workforce and declining numbers of new talent.

Launching the new ‘Adopt a School’, Barry Neilson, chief executive CITB NI, called on all local construction employers to engage with and encourage the next generation of young people.

He said: “We are delighted to announce details of the ‘Adopt a School’ scheme. This is a fantastic opportunity for construction employers to engage with and encourage the next generation of young people to consider a career in construction.

“It is also a fantastic opportunity for schools to benefit from a whole range of career activities as well as having a direct contact with those working within the industry.

“We are delighted to announce our first School – St Malachy’s High School Castlewellan with NuLine Utilities and Quinn Piling.

“We hope the initiative will create more partnerships which will help to recruit, retain and develop the talent required to sustain the industry in the years ahead.”

Mrs Sinead McNulty, head of careers St Malachy’s HS Castlewellan, explained: “St Malachy’s High School Castlewellan are delighted to be take part in CITB NI’s ‘Adopt a School’ paired with two local businesses NuLine Utilities and Quinn Piling.

“This partnership will bring experiences from the world of work into our classrooms and open up new opportunities for our students.  We look forward to working with both businesses.”

Highlighting the need to promote the construction industry and the careers it can provide, Damien Doran, NuLine Utilities, continued: “NuLine Utilities are delighted to join the CITB NI’s ‘Adopt a School’ Initiative. 

“We are keen to build on our long term relationship with St. Malachy’s High School to promote civil engineering as a career choice and assist students who have an interest in construction to develop their career choices and education.”

Praising the scheme, Claire Quinn, Quinn Piling, added: “We are delighted to be part of CITB NI’s ‘Adopt a School’ with St Malachy’s, which will help to raise awareness of careers at Quinn Piling, based in Downpatrick.

“We are looking forward to engaging the students in a range of ground engineering techniques and showcasing our range of departments such as plant maintenance, logistics, welding manufacturing, fabrication, site operations and design engineering.”

Applications for companies and schools to register their interest in taking part in the ‘Adopt A School’ scheme is now open.

Download the registration form from

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