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Year 12 Business Students Work Experience at Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd

15 July 2022

This week, Year 12 Business students at Westminster City School’s Sixth Form embarked on a full week of work experience at Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd, a leading UK construction and civil engineering company headquartered in Hemel Hempstead, England.

On the first day of their work experience, students modelled a tower with the use of newspapers and tape; each team were given £200 to buy resources for their construction. The exercise helped students to understand how best to use time and resources efficiently, the importance of quality and most of all, how to work together as a team.

Additionally, students had mock interviews with Alex Ward, Community Manager at Sir Robert McAlpine and Joe Cumpper, Senior Quantity Surveyor at Sir Robert McAlpine. The aim of the mock interviews were to help students learn how to answer difficult questions and improve their communication skills. They also had the opportunity to hear from other staff who work at the company, including Chloe, Digital Construction Manager, Pete, Building Services Manager and Emma who is the Design Manager, to give an insight into different careers in the construction industry and what to consider when choosing a career. 

The day ended with a rather lively game of The Supply Chain Game, which takes the principal of a simple board game and applies it to site, to encourage students to think quickly in order to solve problems.

Later in the week, students worked on the redevelopment of Oxford Street and were split into teams focusing on redesigning Oxford Street using their knowledge of the different talks delivered by the Sir Robert McAlpine team. The students established their construction companies, looked at who lives in Westminster, the Westminster area and pulled together their master plans which was discussed with a panel of judges.

Tsepo who is in Year 12 said:

“I developed an understanding about what Sir Robert McAlpine is all about and different projects they have worked on, including the Emirates Stadium as well as the original Wembley Stadium.

"This has given me insight into understanding how important it is to construct important landmarks, preserve heritage and the importance of sustainability.”

Naomi in Year 12 at Westminster City School’s Sixth Form added:

“As part of the work experience, we visited The Peninsula Hotel construction site, close to Hyde Park. We also received a tour from the Works Manager Neil who showed us two rooms, the ballroom, the bar, restaurant, courtyard and the mezzanine where there will be afternoon tea.  Despite the fact that the site is still under development, the area was free from dust and fumes and well organised, which was very surprising.”

Adonell who is also in Year 12 added:

“I had the chance to meet Lisa, who works as a Quantity Surveyor. She explained what her role involves and we learned that different subjects can lead to different pathways and does not necessarily have to be linked to a particular subject.”

The work experience with Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd was enjoyable, constructive and educational for Westminster City School’s Sixth Form students who were able to take part in the week of activities They have gained numerous new skills and a broader understanding of the various careers available in construction.

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