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Inspiring construction kids through onsite holiday program

BMD Contructions recently partnered with KidsCo to deliver a school holiday program at the Mickleham Road Upgrade in a move to support the project’s working parents, grandparents and carers whilst inspiring the next generation to pursue careers in construction.

In a first for BMD, the program allowed those with caring responsibilities working on the Mickleham Road Upgrade project to take advantage of onsite care for their primary school-aged children during the Victorian September school holiday period.

BMD worked closely with KidsCo to design a program that allowed children to explore the skills required for a career in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM), with research from Professional Australia suggesting the nation will face a significant engineering skills shortage in the future without early intervention.

The group of 23 children were introduced to a new theme each day with activities designed to foster an engineering mindset, including encouraging the use of real tools and creative thinking to construct a wooden toolbox, putting their skills to the test with Lego challenges, and inspiring imaginative thinking to build a rocket to space.

BMD Construction Manager (VIC/SA/TAS) Justine Paragreen said the onsite school holiday program was a milestone moment for working parents, grandparents, and carers as it provided a positive opportunity to introduce children to the world of STEM from a young age.

“As a working parent myself, I’m so proud to be involved in BMD’s first ever school holiday program, an initiative that will not only support those with caring responsibilities who work on our sites, but also inspiring the next generation in construction and engineering,” she said.

As part of the program, parents, grandparents, and carers were also given the chance to spend lunch breaks with their children and take part in the program’s activities, while the children were given the opportunity to see a glimpse of what their parents do at work.

“Our industry is currently facing a skills shortage that is predicted to grow over the next 20 years,” Paragreen said. “Early and meaningful intervention is a critical step in improving the participation in STEM, and to have the opportunity to make an impact with our own children is incredibly meaningful for our BMD personnel who got involved.”

Major Road Projects Victoria Program Director, Adrian Furner said MRPV was eager to help BMD bring the school holiday program to life at the Mickleham Road Upgrade, which was available to all personnel on site.

“I’m excited to see how our projects can incorporate improved services and amenity for our personnel working on our sites, to support their work, and families in this case,” he said. “The KidsCo school holiday program has been a great initiative, and simply incorporated into our existing site setup.”

The school holiday program was an initiative driven by the Mickleham Road Upgrade project team and supported by the Women@BMD working group, which was established to make progressive actions to improve gender diversity and workplace equity at BMD.

For more information, visit: https://www.bmd.com.au/people-careers/diversity-and-inclusion/

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