“I really enjoyed learning about all the different roles involved in working in construction, what they do and what responsibilities they undertake.”
“I found out that house building is not just on site but also includes technology and finance and projects.”
“I found it interesting how many of the people at Countryside shifted positions and departments, and how supportive Countryside are in terms of individual development.”
Countryside Partnerships
Work Experience
backgroundthe problemour solutionaudienceoutput

Countryside Partnerships is one of the UK’s leading housebuilding organisations, with over 60 years’ experience of designing and building award-winning homes. But more than just creating quality, sustainable buildings, they pride themselves on building communities. Their unifying purpose is to create places where people love to live, by supporting and engaging with communities at every stage.

A teenage girl construction apprentice being shown how to properly measure and mark wood
The problem

Countryside Partnerships wanted to create a varied and inclusive programme that would raise awareness of their brand and company culture, and also cover a wide range of areas within housebuilding, including construction, quantity surveying, technical, sales, and marketing roles that also aligned with the company’s values and commitment to investing in communities. More than this, they wanted to help students understand how they could engage with employers and market themselves to obtain a great job.

Their ideal audience would comprise students in years 10-13 with an even gender split and strong representation from those eligible for free school meals, members of minority ethnic communities and students aiming to be the first generation in their family to attend university. 

Raise awareness of roles in the sector and more specifically at Countryside.
Provide a meaningful and inclusive work experience opportunity in line with the company’s diversity and inclusiveness values.
Highlight the pathway to careers with Countryside.
An unfinished house being built surrounded by scaffolding
Our solution

Countryside provided a clear brief and significant detail drawn from their excellent graduate “pathways” programme. Our Employer Tribe created a programme that was rich in detail, and covered a wide range of subjects, but was still engaging for our chosen audience.

What immediately stood out was the strength of the purpose, values and culture of Countryside and how “The Countryside Way” informed all areas of their business. With this as the starting point, students were introduced to a wider appreciation of how the business operates and pursues new opportunities, before moving into more role-specific modules.

Practical experience is vitally important in the building industry and these roles were explored first. However, a company the size of Countryside has a wide array of functions in commercial, technical and customer-facing roles. Each of these was highlighted in its own module, with an introduction to the skills needed to pursue them.

Finally, to help students prepare themselves for the world of work, the last module offered practical tips on presenting themselves to employers, such as improving their CV and covering letter. It also gave a more general overview of the roles and pathways available at Countryside Partnerships.

no. of students
age range
% free school meals
% minority ethnic students
% female students

There were 626 enrolments from students in years 10-13, with 45% female and 53% male, 2% preferring not to say.  We were also able to engage significant numbers of pupils who qualify for free school meals, 34% of the total, and the same proportion of those who are the first in their families to consider attending university. Asian students were the largest group by ethnicity, comprising 38%, with both white and black students each accounting for 23% of the total.

Countryside was keen to engage the hard-to-reach groups of those with special educational needs, who comprised 4% of the cohort, with those having experience of the care system making up 3%. 

The audience delivered broadly matched Countryside’s desired mix and the average programme rating from students was 8/10.

After undertaking the programme, the number of students very likely to consider a career in the industry rose by 33%, and there was a 90% increase in those very confident about finding a job in the future. Perhaps most impressively, and delivering on the desire to invest in communities, there was a stunning 178% increase in those confident about speaking to an industry professional.

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