‘Lessoning’ the impact: CMS gives local students a taste of the working world

19 May 2016

CMS Window Systems demonstrated its commitment to promoting local employment and building the skill sets of younger generations by giving students a taste of what it is like to work for the business.

Throughout April CMS played host to the Primary 7 classes of six feeder primary schools for Our Lady’s High School in Cumbernauld. The educational activity days, around the theme of social, environmental and economic sustainability, were part of a P7 transition project between the high school and its feeder primaries.

Eleven-year-olds from the six schools spent time at CMS’s flagship Innovation Hub in Castlecary to learn about current issues in sustainable housebuilding, before putting their new knowledge to use by designing their own eco-houses. All six primary schools will visit Our Lady’s High School on Tuesday 21st June to present their Eco House of the future models. CMS ran the initiative as part of the Scottish Government’s ‘Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce’ initiative which aims to establish a stronger connection between education and the world of work.

The days began with Anna West, HR manager at CMS, speaking to the students about the business’s structure, history, values and culture, as well as giving them a taster of the CMS company induction. The children also spent time learning about the skills required to be ‘work-ready’, using a variety of techniques including videos, presentations and group work.

Marketing manager Sarah Wilson then spent the rest of the morning talking with the students about current issues in sustainability and housebuilding. As well as discussing recycling and waste reduction, the session covered topics such as using environmentally-friendly building materials, ways to reduce power consumption in the home, and more sustainable methods of producing energy.

As part of the day, the pupils were also given a brief for an ‘Eco-House of the Future’ challenge: they were tasked with planning, modelling and budgeting for the construction of a four-bedroom eco-house in Cumbernauld. The house had to be designed to minimise the use of fossil fuels and avoid any unnecessary waste, as well as being made of recycled and sustainable materials.

Students were then given a tour of the Innovation Hub, CMS’s industry-leading facility in which visitors can explore the technology that goes into today’s advanced window, door, insulation and ventilation solutions. Featuring permanent exhibition displays from CMS and leading building product manufacturers, the Innovation Hub’s extensive showroom showcases state-of-the-art energy-efficient building products and services; here, the students were shown a variety of sustainable products and procedures which could be incorporated in their eco-house designs.

CMS’s involvement with the project followed a challenge from Paul Drechsler, President of the Confederation of British Industry, for companies to engage more proactively with schools in areas with fewer economic advantages - including greater involvement at local primary schools.

Managing Director of CMS, Andy Kerr, welcomed the initiative and praised the pupils’ enthusiasm and inventiveness: “As a Cumbernauld business, we place a strong emphasis on our social responsibility – we’re keen to make a positive impact on our local community, and we thoroughly support the drive to strengthen the connection between businesses and schools. It was a pleasure for CMS Window Systems to host such eager and well-engaged students at our Innovation Hub throughout April, and we hope to accommodate more school visits in the future.”

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