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Where it all begins - Jo's story

In a new film Where It All Begins, the Construction Innovation Hub and Class Of Your Own (COYO) have joined together to call on the construction industry to support them in attracting the brightest and best upcoming talent. As part of this campaign, colleagues from across the Hub and our partner network are sharing stories of where it all began for their own careers, to inspire the next generation and shine a light on the vast and perhaps unexpected array of routes that can be taken into the built environment sector. 

As a relative newcomer to the construction industry, I’m really proud to have played a small part in the development of the Construction Innovation Hub’s new film Where It All Begins.

For me, the film not only captures a moment of wonder and inspiration in the possibilities offered by a career in construction but it also pays tribute to the unique, vibrant nature of the location it was filmed in – the iconic city of Liverpool.

With more listed buildings than any city outside of London, Liverpool is awash with awe-inspiring buildings and spaces; several of which play a starring role in the film.

As a student at Liverpool John Moores University in the 1990s, I have loads of fond memories framed by the backdrop of the city. As a resident of student halls in the grandeur of the converted former North Western Hotel next to Lime Street Station; studying in a building overlooking Liverpool Cathedral or in the library behind the bombed-out Church of St Luke; socialising in beautiful pubs including the famous Philharmonic Dining Rooms and relaxing in Sefton Park.

With a stint as the arts editor of the student magazine, my time in the city kickstarted my career in journalism and then communications. My experience in Liverpool definitely ignited a passion for architecture and the built environment, and fast forwarding to the present day I’m delighted to now be able to explore these interests through my current role in the CDBB / Hub communications team.

Now as a parent of an artistic son who loves Lego and Minecraft and a daughter who approaches problems with a mathematical mindset, I know that a career in construction could offer them both a broad scope of varied and interesting possibilities. If our film succeeds in convincing fellow parents, as well as teachers, that the construction industry is rich in opportunities for an incredibly diverse range of career-seekers, then we have done what we set out to do. And if it inspires them to discover the beautiful and inspiring city of Liverpool, that’s a double win as far as I’m concerned!


Jo Dickson is the Communications and Engagement Lead at the Centre for Digital Built Britain for the Construction Innovation Hub. Learn more about the Transforming Construction Futures campaign.