Winners of 2016/17 Lendlease Challenge share their experiences!

The 2017/18 Lendlease challenge was as competitive and rewarding as ever! The programme engaged four schools from the London Borough of Newham and one from the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, engaging 150 young people throughout the academic year.

Here we share an overview and experiences as noted from our 2016/17 Lendlease Challenge winners:

What is The Lendlease Challenge (timeline, content, tasks)?

The Lendlease Challenge is a competition between secondary schools where groups of young people had to create an idea for the land, which will benefit the local community in Stratford. Firstly, before we started planning what we should create, we were able to visit the site and the surrounding areas; this allowed us to gain more knowledge about the local businesses, hence we were able to cater our design to benefit the local area. Once we deduced the function of our building we started planning our presentation and model which would be presented to the judges on the day. The model was not specified in the brief but we decided to create for the judges to visualise the end product. Through our hard work, determination and resilience, Cumberland School won against the other groups that were also competing.

What have you learnt and how have you developed through the programme?

Throughout the programme, as a group we have learnt many new skills and developed already existing ones. For a few months, we put in several hours before and after school, as well as lunch times to get the presentation ready in time, before the deadline. Through this we developed our ability to stay committed to a long-term project- a soft skill that is highly valued by employers. A skill that we have learnt is effective presentation skills. The project enabled us to create a presentation that projected our idea in a clear and succinct way that engaged our audience. However, most importantly, we have learnt how to productively work in a team- building on each other’s strengths and working on our weaknesses.

Why should young people get involved in programmes like this?

Through our involvement in the challenge we received the prize of one-week work experience at the Lendlease main site and headquarters. During our time at Lendlease, we discovered the variety of jobs that are available in the construction sector, such as lawyers in the legal team and designers that work with VR (virtual reality) technology. In addition, we were able to attend many meetings, such as an engrossing Brexit talk with a Lendlease employee from Australia. Unfortunately, not all students that will be involved in the competition will have this amazing opportunity. However, many have heard the phrase that ‘everyone’s a winner’ and with the Lendlease challenge, this is most definitely true. It’s important to consider that all competitions develop certain skills and the Lendlease Challenge has definitely moulded us into more well-rounded people. We were able to supplement our communication skills as it was essential that we voiced our ideas clearly, therefore gaining valuable attributes for our future selves. Furthermore, many employees have told us that it is vital for students to get involved in these programmes because “they will have an understanding of life after leaving school” (a member of the digital platform team at Lendlease). Moreover, an employee at Lendlease has commented that it is significant not “to stick with one industry and one job all your life”. This, therefore, suggests that it is significant for young people to gain a variety of experiences through getting involved in programmes that are similar like the Lendlease Challenge.

Why should employers get involved in programmes like this?

Challenges like the Lendlease programme aren’t just for the betterment of young people; they also offer perks to the employers involved. Employers have the chance to reap the benefits of creative ideas from young minds that have a “fresh perspective of life” (member of digital platform team at Lendlease) by, perhaps, implementing the innovative ideas into their own company. Furthermore, employers can advertise their own companies within the new generation, allowing them to access a constant stream of new employees and customers for the future. Additionally, by participating in these programmes, employers give the young people of the local area an opportunity to tap into a whole new set of skills which will benefit the company, as they have access to a batch of future employees who will be more skilled. The manager of the 3D Department commented that, “young people are the future of work.” Ultimately programmes like these are a way for companies to leave a lasting legacy in the area, changing the place for the better.

Written by four Year 11 students from Cumberland School!

Thank you all involved.

#NewGeneration #GetInvolved #Lendlease #BeBrave