Ready, Steady, BUILD with Balfour Beatty!

Ready, Steady, BUILD with Balfour Beatty!


Elgin Academy prides themselves on their core values of teamwork and leadership and a knowledge-based curriculum that fully prepares their young people for the future. Recently, their S3’s have been working through the schools’ provision of “Building your Employability Skills”, in preparation for their S4 SCQF 3+4 programme, “The Ideal Candidate”.

Keen to enhance the delivery of the “Building your Employability and Skills” programme, Elgin Academy were delighted to take up the opportunity to pilot Balfour Beatty and DYW Moray’s KAPLA Project to give their young people a hands-on activity experience. Something they have missed greatly over the last 2-years due to Covid-19 restrictions. In partnership, Balfour Beatty and DYW Moray have created an interactive session that not only educates young people on the construction industry but allows them to practically develop employability skills that they will one day need for the world of work.

John Cairns stated, ‘We’ve been delighted to work with DYW Moray to develop a brand-new construction workshop for young people in Moray. It’s been fantastic to collaborate on creating a new interactive workshop utilising Kapla blocks to engage young people in conversations about careers with construction and inspire the next generation of future industry experts.’


Over 2-weeks, John Cairns and Bethany Welsh, Community Impact Advisors at Balfour Beatty, delivered the sessions to more than 150 young people in S3 as part of their Guidance Classes.

Throughout the presentation, John and Bethany spoke about the wide range of opportunities that can be available within the construction industry, the routes and pathways that are open for young people to follow in their careers beyond school, and the forecasts for the future of the sector in Scotland.

This was followed by a construction themed challenge using the KAPLA Bricks which asked young people to team up in small groups and create bridges, buildings, or the tallest tower. This increased their awareness of a range of key employability skills such as communication, teamwork, and determination.

KAPLA Photos

Thoughts and successes

Overall, the activity was a great success, and that was shown in the engagement from the young people in Elgin Academy. Feedback gathered from the sessions was hugely positive with key successes shown in stats such as: “there was a 14% increase in young people inspired to consider a career in construction”, and on average, young people at Elgin Academy rated their enjoyment of the activity as an average of 8.1 out of 10.

KAPLA Infograpgics

Within the feedback forms, the S3’s were asked to list three skills they felt they had developed while taking part in the session. With a wealth of both practical and personal aptitudes highlighted, the top 5 skills included teamwork, communication, problem solving, creativity, and resilience. All skills that will prove invaluable in the future.

Lynne Bowley, Principal Teacher of Guidance at Elgin Academy, said “this input was exactly what our S3 pupils were looking for to help equip them with ideas and skills that help them to understand possible future pathways and demonstrate some employability skills.”

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