LOOK around Oxfordshire and you will see no shortage of construction projects, but there are still not enough people looking for jobs in the building industry.

In a bid to tackle misconceptions about the sector major employers and tradespeople visited Wheatley Park School to speak to Year Eight Pupils.

The event on Thursday was organised by Oxfordshire Apprenticeships along with Basil Wyatt & Sons construction company, electrical contractor Clarkson Evans and Trade School, which runs regular workshops for young people.

Pupils had the chance to have a go at electrical wiring with Clarkson Evans and bricklaying with Trade School as well as talking to experts.

Basil Wyatt and Sons business development manager Kate Wyatt said she was impressed by the level of interest from pupils.

She said: "I was really trying to help give them a sense that there is more to the construction industry than just bricklaying and trades.

"I have had quite a varied career, it is not just what you see on a building site.

"They really did seem to soak it all up, I was really surprised.

"We had a question and answer session and they were asking really engaged questions.

"Breaking down gender barriers helps massively too."

Oxfordshire Apprenticeships aim to help organise more of the events in the future to allow school pupils to find out more about the variety of careers the industry can offer.

Trade School was set up by Richard Francis, who runs Wain and Francis Building Contractors in Witney, and takes practical sessions into schools.

Mr Francis said: "Kids are always interested in doing something hands on and professional.

"Having that opportunity from a young age before peer pressure gets in in terms of historic stigmas about construction is important.

"It is about getting kids when they are still interested, when they are older they are often not as interested.

"I think all the pupils who took part got something out of it."

The day finished with a 'human library' session where those taking part spoke to a human 'book' from various construction backgrounds about their routes into their trades.

Year Eight pupil Harvey Mills, 13, said: "I really enjoyed the new experience.

"Bricklaying is something I’ve never done before. "Now I know how to do it, it’s something I can think about for my future."

Classmate Omer Khudari, 13, added: "I really enjoyed bricklaying.

"It was quite hard but I got better at it.

"You need to practice a lot to get it right.

"I never knew so much thought went into building houses."