Posted 14.10.20

Cardiff pupils to receive new children’s book promoting careers in the construction industry

  • Book launch aims to open up opportunities for all and promote diversity within the construction sector
  • Wates Residential to distribute 180 books to Key Stage 2 children in Cardiff


Primary school pupils in Cardiff are among the first to receive a unique new children’s book designed to inspire them to work in the construction industry.

Key Stage 2 pupils from Howardian Primary School will receive a free copy of What Do … Construction Workers Do? By Emma Juhasz. The new book aims to increase diversity in the sector by supporting learning and providing a more accurate illustration of the wide-ranging jobs available in construction.

What Do … Construction Workers Do? Was developed in response to the idea ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’. Children can use the book to learn how construction workers build structures, as well as the different kind of jobs available. It includes characters such as Ella, an Architect and Yasmin, a Quantity Surveyor who tell children about what their roles consist of and the qualifications needed. It comes after research found that by the age of seven, children already demonstrate limitations on their aspirations for future careers, while many only consider jobs that they are familiar with through friends and family members.

Wates Residential is also the first construction company to work with the Children’s University, which encourages, tracks and celebrates learning that takes place beyond the classroom. This unique partnership means children will receive a ‘Passport to Learning’ in which they can collect two stamps by completing the four interactive activities inside the book.

In total, the national developer will present 5,000 books to Key Stage 2 pupils at 11 schools across London and the south over the next 7 days.

Siam, aged 8 from Howardian Primary School received a copy of the book. He said: “I think it’s good that kids can learn more about being a construction worker for when they grow up so that they can decide what they want to do. Once people used to think that only boys could be builders and girls weren’t interested but this book will help people to understand that everyone can be a construction worker. You could also give copies to homeless people to help inspire them.”

Lamar, aged 8, also received a copy of the book. She said: “I really like that everyone can have a role in construction and that no one is left out. It also gives you a lot of useful facts about the different jobs that you can do in construction and how you can become each of them.”

Likewise, Felix, aged 8, said: “It’s a great book because it encourages people to go into a lot of different jobs in construction. It is also good because it gives you all of the information about construction workers and what they do so that you can decide for yourself.

“I also liked that it’s trying to get girls into construction too. I would recommend it to all of my friends.”

The construction industry is currently facing a skills shortage, and figures from The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) highlight that the industry will need to find 160,000 new recruits by 2023 to keep up with demand. While these children may need to wait a few more years before they can join the career ladder, it is hoped that this initiative will attract a more diverse group of young people to consider their future in construction.

Wates Residential and Cardiff Council formed the partnership Cardiff Living in 2016. Since then it has completed a total of 343 homes at 7 locations across the city including 172 private sale homes at Captain’s View and Captain’s Walk in Llanrumney, Silvervale Park in St Mellons, Walker House in Llanishen and Ty To Maen in Old St Mellons. The programme has also completed 171 affordable homes at all of the above sites as well as new homes at Snowden Road and Wilson Road in Ely, Ty Newydd in Caerau and Llanrumney Depot in Llanrumney.

As part of the partnership, Cardiff Council and Wates Residential have made a joint pledge to create employment and training opportunities for local residents. Over the first four years, Cardiff Living has invested over £567,000 in the local community through social value activities. This includes the creation of 71 on-site apprenticeships, 147 work experience placements and a ‘Building Futures’ programme providing construction and employment skills training for unemployed adults. 

Kate Ives, Development Director at Wates Residential, said:

“Children’s potentials are being limited from a young age because they can’t be what they can’t see. At Wates Residential, we are passionate about inspiring children from all backgrounds and showing that the sector is open to all. What Do… Construction Workers Do? demonstrates the diversity of jobs and people in our workplaces. The author – Emma Juhasz – and the Children’s University have done a wonderful job at helping us to bring our sector to life and I hope many more young people will be encouraged to see construction as a viable career option in the future.”

Emma Juhasz, author of What Do…Construction Workers Do?, commented:

 “I loved writing What Do Construction Workers Do? It became clear to me, very quickly, that the construction industry was like a sweet jar of opportunity. It has so many different jobs and caters for a huge variety of skills. I started the series of books, What Do..Do? as I wanted to help young children get a better idea of how their talents and interests could be translated into jobs in their futures. It is easy to see how many of them could end up working in construction. Wates has been very supportive throughout this project and are inspiringly invested in children and their futures. I hope many children will find the building blocks they need, in the book, and join them one day.”

Helen Hoyle, Headteacher of Howardian Primary School, said:

“’What Do Construction Workers Do?’ is an excellent non-fictional text for KS2 pupils. It is full of interesting facts and information explaining what the construction industry is all about – including a long list of modern and historical buildings. It also examines in fine detail all the different types of workers who are involved in the construction industry and what their jobs entail. It makes good use of subject specific language to develop vocabulary and has a range of different characters carrying out the various types of jobs so breaking typical stereotyping. It is a lovely book that would encourage a range of children to think about a career in the construction industry.”




  1. Research from BBC News,


Notes to Editors

Please contact Katherine Doha, Communications and Marketing Business Partner for Wates Residential, for more information: Tel: 07718 323 965; Email:



Emma Juhasz

Emma loves meeting people and learning about what they do! She started her career making television documentaries for the BBC, but then changed to pursue her love of writing. After 9 years of writing and editing magazines, websites and blogs, she became a children’s non-fiction author by chance! Looking for simple, fun but informative books to explain various careers to her young children, she couldn’t find any, so she decided to write one herself!

What Do Vets Do? was her well-reviewed first book. Building on the success of this book, she wanted her next book to incorporate more careers, offer more diversity and let young children see that there are jobs for everyone, whatever their interests or talents. The construction industry was an obvious area to explore and when the opportunity to work with Wates opened up, Emma leapt at it.

What Do Construction Workers Do? is aimed at primary school children. The simple text is enhanced by wonderful illustrations by Amanda Lillywhite. It explains what people do, but also how the talents and interests of young children can lead them to work in the construction industry, in one of the many different jobs on offer.

You can purchase the book through Emma’s website or Illustrated by Amanda Lillywhite:

Follow Emma at:

Facebook: Emma Juhasz Author

Twitter: @emmajuhasz1

Instagram: emmajuhas6096



Wates Residential


Wates Residential, part of the Wates Group, is one of the UK’s leading developers. The business operates across London and the South, working with public and private sector clients to build more and better quality homes. This is driven by a shared vision that everyone deserves a great place to live.

Wates Residential applies a special type of regeneration to every scheme that it develops. This looks beyond bricks and mortar and is focused on supporting the wider long-term development of sustainable communities. By engaging with key stakeholder groups early, the team ensures that local needs are placed at the heart of every development.

The developer also looks to leave a positive lasting legacy in the communities where it operates by targeting local procurement, the creation of local training and employment opportunities, and investing in local charitable organisations and community groups.


Follow us on Twitter @WatesGroup

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