RAF Lakenheath staff engage with local students

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For some time now, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has been coordinating the construction of the RAF Lakenheath facility, ahead of the arrival of F35 aircraft, alongside the Kier VolkerFitzpatrick (KVF) joint venture, but have now made strides in connecting with the local community by speaking with local students.

Once every month, from the 27th September onwards, Year 10 students at Mildenhall College Academy in Suffolk will be able to Skype call staff onsite at the Lakenheath project to discuss opportunities within the defence construction sector.

The DIO USVF Programme Director, Keith Maddison stated: “We are happy to support the work that KVF is doing with the local community around RAF Lakenheath.

“It is important to us that the project provides social as well as economic benefits for the local area and that these benefits last even after construction has finished.

“Construction can offer exciting opportunities and I hope that these regular conversations with local students will open their eyes to the many options available to people who choose a career in this industry.”

The Managing Director Strategic Projects at Kier, James Hindes added: “At Kier we are always looking for innovative ways to engage with the local community throughout the delivery of our projects.

“I am pleased the KVF team have been able to find a way to host career sessions with schools local to RAF Lakenheath as the nature of the project prevents us from being able to invite pupils to the site.”

At the time of peak construction, the RAF Lakenheath project will employ a total of some 700 staff, while the wider construction sector will need to hire approximately 400,000 recruits every year to meet predicted demands.

The Managing Director of VolkerFitzpatrick’s Civils division, Chris Evans concluded: “Our people are the driving force behind each and every one of our projects and it is essential that we continue to attract new people into the industry.

“Initiatives like this are a fantastic way of engaging with the next generation of professionals and sharing the diverse range of opportunities available to them within construction.”

The Lakenheath project has cost the DIO a significant £160M and is schedule for completion in November 2021.

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