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Virtual Work Experience Launched for Scottish Secondary Pupils Missing out on Summer Term Work Experience

A Scottish architectural and planning practice has developed and launched a portal of virtual work experience for secondary pupils who are missing out on work experience this term due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Halliday Fraser Munro’s team rapidly created the portal when it became clear that they would be unable to host their usual annual intake of young adults for work experience in its Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow offices with a bespoke in-house, one-week programme.

The website content, which is freely available [workexperience.hfm.co.uk], aims to continue to motivate and encourage young people to consider a career in architecture and the construction industry during lockdown. The programme mirrors the Halliday Fraser Munro office-based experience and can be completed at home with no time restrictions.

David Halliday, managing director of Halliday Fraser Munro says, “Throughout the year, and especially in the summer term, we would normally have a number of secondary school pupils complete their work experience with us across Scotland. However, for the first time, due to the pandemic, this is not possible.

“We’re committed to the young adults who would have been participating in our work experience programme, and also to all pupils currently facing an educational situation which no previous generation has had to face.

“Covid-19 has transformed their education and we hope that by offering virtual work experience we can continue to enthuse students about the architectural sector and also enhance their employability skills. Our own teams which have been collaborating remotely long before the outbreak realised that the work experience programme could be adapted to be delivered and we can share our architectural and work-life experiences through this new portal.

“After the lock down is over, our sector will still want young people who are ready for the workplace. This virtual work experience is an excellent way for us to support young adults to develop a broad range of skills and to reach students who may not have considered a career in architecture or been able to participate in our in-office work experience programme. By completing the work experience portal tasks, students will develop their interest in architecture and will have developed skills in and understanding of spatial modelling and interpreting a client brief. Students should bring with them a magnificent imagination and keen eye for detail. They will also need paper, pens, pencils and a laptop or PC. Students will be able to access a free browser-based copy of SketchUp which is a programme allowing users to create, share and experience their designs by transforming hand drawn materials into visualisations.

“We were inspired to find a way to continue our work experience programme during this time of such restriction. We wanted to find a way to continue to show support for young adults and making this a virtual experience was the way forward for us in 2020, whilst still giving students access to support and advice from our design and technical directors.”

The portal will also feature a competition open to children of all ages to design a building or house using their choice of media. Entrants can use pen and paper, Lego, building blocks, SketchUp, Minecraft etc. A winner from each age group will be selected and the winners will receive a gift voucher and a Halliday Fraser Munro architect will create their design as a 3D model on screen for them.

The portal can be accessed here .

Halliday Fraser Munro is an award-winning firm offering architectural, urban design and masterplanning services along with a specialised planning consultancy team. It has offices in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, London and Belfast. Further information is available at www.hfm.co.uk.