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25 September 2017

Kier Unveils Unique Virtual World Plaque On Landmark Building In Watford

Kier, a leading property, residential and services group which employs 100 people across the region, has unveiled one of its first innovative Virtual World Plaques™ on the Watford Riverwell scheme. The installation marks the launch of Kier's Shaping Your World campaign, which aims to help the public better understand the role the built environment plays in our everyday lives, and in turn boost construction sector recruitment.

Over 25 plaques have been installed on key buildings up and down the country to showcase Kier projects. Each plaque provides a physical touchpoint for members of the public, who can use it to enter a virtual world, hosted by a unique avatar at each location, and access unique information and history about the building it fronts.

Providing locals with added insight into the infrastructure that surrounds them in their own city, it is hoped that the plaques will help to demonstrate the importance of the built environment in shaping our skylines and encourage more young people to consider a job in the sector.

As part of the campaign, Kier has today released a new report, which looks at how insufficient careers advice is putting £90bn GDP at risk.

The results found that 74 per cent of parents in the South East feel that careers advice in local schools is too focused on academia, with 51 per cent also believing that children in the area do not receive enough careers advice at school. However, over 50 per cent say tuition fees are now putting them off encouraging their child to go to university.

The study also found that 32 per cent of teachers are unaware of the scale of the recruitment shortfall in the construction sector. It also exposed a lack of knowledge around the many different entry points to the industry, such as work experience, internships and apprenticeships and undergraduate and graduate programmes.

Haydn Mursell, chief executive of Kier, said: "We're hoping to change perceptions with this campaign, and encourage those who may have not previously done so to consider a job in construction. These plaques are a fun and unique way for Kier to engage with members of the public and to demonstrate just how integral the construction sector is to the continued development of our cities.

"With an ageing workforce, uncertainty around Brexit and an ambitious pipeline of construction, housing and wider infrastructure projects, which equates to £90bn of UK GDP delivery and creates a demand for circa 400,000 new recruits per annum, it is imperative that we attract new talent into our industry.

"We have invested in comprehensive resource to train and develop new talent, we offer a vast array of roles, great scope and support for diversity and career progression, and we offer the chance to leave a lasting legacy and make a real contribution to local communities."

Kier has offices across the South East, including in Aylesford and Crawley, and is responsible for a number of projects in the area, such as the £27.5m Cornerstone project, a flagship office scheme in Manor Royal Business District, Crawley. Kier was also selected to develop phase two of Eastbourne Arndale Centre's £85m extension.



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