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Over 1800 dedicated people nationwide
Providing critical infrastructure for the UK
A positive impact on everything we touch
Over 1800 dedicated people nationwide
Providing critical infrastructure for the UK
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nmcn wins international award for children’s book addressing construction skills shortage

8th July 2020

nmcn has won a duo of international awards for its children’s book When I Grow Up, which was written to address the skills shortage in the industry.

We are delighted after being named the winner of the design and print category of the NYX Marcom Awards, which honours the best of global marketing. The win is the second global recognition for our book after winning  platinum at the MUSE Creative Awards in April.

Since its launch in March, the free book has been read by thousands of school children across the world, and has been praised by literacy charities Read for Good, Book Aid International and Words for Work National Literacy Trust. It has also been recognised by famous faces including celebrity architect George Clarke and BBC’s DIY SOS star Billy Byrne.

To complement the book, we have created activities for children and an animated version of the book with sign language from our  19-year-old apprentice estimator Adam Scattergood, to make it accessible to all. Throughout the school closures due to Covid-19, the activities have been used by primary schools for home learning and the book has been used as a story time session.

We have also extended the use of the book characters to spread important messages to young children during Drowning Prevention Week and Child Safety Week.

Author of the book, Rich Smith, who is a dad of two young children and a director at nmcn, said: “We are completely overwhelmed and delighted to win another global award for the book. To have our important messaging about the construction industry be recognised on an international level is an incredible achievement.

“We are really proud of the journey the book has been on, how well it has been received by people and how we have managed to still interact with children during this current climate.

“We have extended the narrative over recent months, to help children with their learning while at home during lockdown. We have big plans for how we can develop the book and other resources in the future too, to further educate and inspire more young people to consider a career in construction.”

Katie Smith, a female bricklayer and social media influencer, reviewed ‘When I grow up’. She said: “When I Grow Up is a golden book and it’s fantastic that it has won two international awards as it has got the recognition it so truly deserves.

“I want the book to reach as many children as possible. I hope to go back to my old primary school in the future to read it to students there and hopefully break the stigma and inspire the next generation of the construction industry.”

Alice Handelman, Senior Project Manager at the National Literacy Trust, said: “Books are an amazing way to inspire and raise children’s aspirations from a young age. We use ‘When I Grow Up’ as part of the National Literacy Trust’s Words for Work: Dream Big programme as it’s an excellent resource to introduce a wide range of careers to children that they may never have even considered for themselves.”

‘When I Grow Up’ follows twins Harry and Amy, who are considering their future professions as part of their school careers day competition. The story covers a range of engineering activities and demonstrates to children that without the hard work of those in the construction industry, many other roles would not be possible.

The book, aimed at 4-7 year olds, was created to inspire bright young minds to consider a career in construction and to address the skills crisis in the sector. It builds on the existing work nmcn has done as part of its Positive Impact Plan, in which it aims to engage with at least 5,000 children by 2025.

To watch the animated version of the book and to download supporting activity sheets, visit: https://nmcn.com/news/when-i-grow-up

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