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New Group to keep steel young and fit for the future

BCSA President Gary Simmons chats with the Young Persons Group at the first meeting at Carrwood Park in January.

The first meetings of the BCSA’s new Young Persons Group have been held, with an impressive cross-sector range of skills represented among the young people who will help ensure steel construction is ‘fit for the future’.

The newly launched group has so far recruited 35 members from 24 BCSA member companies from a wide range of disciplines, including estimators, purchasers, quantity surveyors, project managers, customer services and sustainability alongside the more traditional engineering and production roles. The Group is chaired by Michael Burt from WIG Engineering.

BCSA President Gary Simmons said: “We need the younger generation’s views on the activities and future direction of the BCSA to ensure that we develop our sector to be ‘fit for the future’, and this Group will play a key role in providing us with that. With the development and increase in automated manufacturing, AI technology, and the drive towards a carbon net-zero industry, the BCSA are looking towards our future leaders to steer us in the right direction to maintain steel as the material of choice for our future construction projects.

“Those who take part will learn how the BCSA operates and will gain significantly in terms of their own personal and career development.”

The Group tours the William Hare facility in Scarborough.

The meetings provide an open forum where members can demonstrate their already-acquired skills to educate fellow members on different disciplines such as material supply, fire engineering and fabrication techniques. At the first meeting in January, there was a clear desire evident to learn more about the diversity of the constructional steelwork industry and the large variety of roles and opportunities that it has to offer, including those within the wider supply chain.

The Group has met twice this year and will be meeting again in July. In addition to networking, discussion and brainstorming, meetings are held at Member companies so that the Group can see and experience what other BCSA Member companies do. So far, the Group has had a tour of William Hare’s factory in Scarborough and will be visiting the Tata Steel coil coating and insulated panel lines in Shotton this month.

A tour of British Steel’s works in Scunthorpe is being planned for later in the year.

The Young Persons Group will help prioritise and work-up a number of key initiatives to take forward to the BCSA Council for support. The Group has already identified some key priority areas to focus on including:

  • Training needs
  • How to attract and retain young people to our sector
  • Tools, resources and guidance to help them in their roles
  • Use of social media to promote the industry to younger people
  • Digital technologies and their influence on the future of the sector
  • Networking and social events

Anyone who would like to be part of this Group or has any questions, please contact BCSA’s Sustainability Manager, Michael Sansom at

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