The Worshipful Company of Builders’ Merchants (WCoBM) recently exhibited at the annual Livery Schools Link (LSL) Showcase in Guildhall to help raise the profile of our industry among students.

The LSL Showcase is targeted at 14-17 year olds and is an ideal platform for helping them to realise the wide career opportunities in various trades. Over 600 students from 25 schools across London attend with their teachers. They’re able to talk to each of the 30 Livery Companies exhibiting on the day and ask questions, as well as have some fun with some practical activities and competitions.

WCoBM is actively engaged with educational awards and supporting the training of individuals in and outside the industry through its charity work. The Company’s prominent stand with a sea of bright yellow builder hats, rulers and bags attracted many students.

The Master Stephen Turner, Past Master Gill Moore, Senior Warden Brian Blanchard, Liveryman Dennis Smith (representing the Institute of Builders Merchants) and marketing manager of Parker Building Supplies Jamie Pierce (representing the BMF Young Merchants) were at hand to talk to students about our industry with informative leaflets and fun giveaways.

Past Master Moore said: “We were extremely pleased with how the day went. A huge thanks to everyone who helped with the stand and for their time to man it all day. Jamie and I had some meaningful conversations with teachers, assistants and coordinators, which led to questions regarding work experience and career talks in schools. There is still a big hill to climb in selling our industry as a career path, but events like this help us get a step closer.”

Ms Moore continued: “The LSL is also arranging a platform whereby all participating Liveries can submit details of Liverymen willing to go into their local schools to talk about their trade. The platform can be accessed by head teachers too so that they can approach relevant Liverymen directly. This is a fantastic development and one that our Livery will be keen to support and take part in.”

As a result of conversations at the LSL exhibition, Mr Pierce has since had two schools contact him asking for an ambassador to visit their school and speak to their students. He said: “This is a great result. There is definitely a grey area over what builders’ merchants do, so to be invited to schools and speak directly to their pupils about what we do, and the many exciting career opportunities available in our industry helps to build the image of construction and break the stereotypical views. On a final note, who knew the yellow hats and stress bricks would be more popular than The Coachmakers scalextric track!”

Picture caption: A sea of builders’ merchants’ bright yellow builder hats, rulers and bags attracted many students at the recent Livery Schools Link.