Created 12th February 2024

Northern property experts to deliver employability skills and career guidance provision in local secondary schools.

Bradley Hall has pledged its support to developing the workforce of the future by joining employability programme, Building My Skills, as a delivery partner.

The initiative was launched in 2009 by North of England construction firm, Esh Group, in partnership with Ryder Architecture and Arup. Bradley Hall has signed up for the first time in 2024 to deliver dedicated careers guidance sessions to Year 9-12 students across the North East and Tees Valley.

Aiming to provide students with an insight into sectors and careers that they may not otherwise know exists, Bradley Hall will showcase the property sector and all the opportunities it has to offer.

With business leaders snapping up their opportunity to support the programme, Richard Rafique, Managing Director - Commercial of Bradley Hall, said: “For many of us when we started out in our careers, we didn’t have access to this type of initiative. Giving young people a direct line of enquiry to the business community will be a huge benefit to their career aspirations, but also the wider region as we seek to upskill the workforce of the future.

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“At Bradley Hall, we take great pride in upskilling our staff and promoting from within, so we’re always on the lookout for our next team member, whether that be a surveyor or administrator, so getting involved in programmes such as Building My Skills is a great way of helping showcase such opportunities to young people interested in getting involved in the industry and building a successful career of their own.”

A total of 30 businesses from the construction and built environment, energy and utilities firms, IT, legal, marketing, sport and professional services industries will deliver sessions throughout the programme. Students will attend four workshops between January and June, each delivered by a different business from a wide range of sectors.

This year the programme incorporates a purpose-built app where students can access and complete one of four digital ‘checkpoints’ after each session which will assist them when mapping out their own career aspirations - standing out from the competition, presenting yourself online, on paper and in person.

A proportion of the students who complete the workshops will be invited to a mock interview day, with all business partners who deliver sessions being invited to host one or more panels. Education partners will be allocated interview slots depending on checkpoint completion rates throughout the series of workshops, and students may be invited to second interview opportunities should businesses have opportunities available.

Corporate Affairs Director at Esh Group, Darush Dodds, has been buoyed by the 2024 sign ups, with over 5,000 students from 29 schools getting involved. He said: “Building My Skills is specifically designed to make young people aware of the breadth of opportunities available across the region, change their perception of different industries and ‘lift the lid off’ local businesses by showcasing roles that many students don’t know exist.”

“When we launched BMS in 2009, we had just five schools involved. Now, almost 15 years later, we’re on the verge of supporting our 60,000th student through the programme, all from different demographics. We are thrilled to be working with such a variety of businesses from across the North East and Tees Valley.”

Dodds added: “The mock interview day is always a huge success. It provides valuable interview experiences but can open the door to second interviews for businesses who have opportunities – apprenticeships, traineeships or paid placements - available. We’ve already started delivery of BMS 2024 and we’re excited to see how students grow over the coming months.”

To find out more about the Building My Skills programme, visit

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