February 4, 2019
The NBS history books will always highlight 2018as a standout year for the Newcastle-based technology business, which provides technicalinformation, specification and BIM tools to theconstruction industry.
A landmark £31.8 million investment from LDC, finalised in June, is already supporting the deliveryof its future product development and international growth plans.
But the upping of NBS’ global ambitions haven’t been at the expense of its commitment to the North East and its future workforce.
Last year, the company’s outreach work went up a gear and then some, reaching more than 2000 children and young people in schools
and colleges through a powerful combination of mentoring schemes, career advice sessions, workshops, work placements and partnerships.
It’s an important part of NBS’ ongoing pledge to make boosting the region’s workforce a priority– and that’s the message chief operating officer Helen Whitfield delivered to head of customersupport Tim Bellhouse following NBS’s 2017 end-of-year staff celebration.
Since then, Tim has been overseeing the outreach programme at NBS, which has includeda significant increase in overall outreach activity,and a focus on the promotion of the construction industry as a place for everyone to succeed, regardless of their background or ability.
Senior BIM author Jane Hibbert started her career at NBS as an apprentice in 2009 and hasbeen at the forefront of these efforts in recentyears, with initiatives such as NE1 Girls in Stem and The Power of Five.
Jane says: “Sharing my story and showing young people how I got here is the best way I candemonstrate how they could find a place in thisindustry.
“Often, kids might only relate to what it is their parents do, and don’t consider jobs and careers beyond that. You can see lights going on when they realise this could be for them.”
Sharing real-life career journeys is very much at the heart of NBS’ outreach work.
From basic ‘world of work’ introductions with primary school children to career ‘speed dating’ with GSCE pupils and one-to-one mentoring with the UTC students, NBS’ ethos is very much rooted in raising aspirations and awareness.
Tim concluded “We highlight the importance of values like determination, resilience and self- motivation and that it’s not all about pushing academic achievement. Of course, you always want pupils to do their best, but it’s also really valuable to let them know that they don’t have toarrive here already highly qualified.
“You just have to have the right set of values and skills and be interested. We know we need a skilled workforce in the future and this is one way we can ensure the next generation coming through are getting the best experience possible. That’s just good business sense.”