Brian Hearn, 29, struggled when he was at St Andrew’s CE High School for Boys but has made a real success of his life, building up his own business from scratch.
He wanted to give something back and encourage the boys by showing them some of the many career options available in construction.
Mr Hearn, managing director of Littlehampton firm Future Build Specialist, arranged a careers day at the school on Friday and, as it was so successful, he hopes to make it an annual event.
He said: “School is not for everyone. There is a danger for those with no sense of direction and not knowing what they want to do when they leave school, it is so easy not to care.
“We wanted to give a little something back and to give the boys an insight into the industry. Construction is hidden in school. They don’t really realise what their options are. This really gives them a feel for it.
“School can be boring when you are a boy. We wanted this to be naturally fun. Some of them have never used tools before. It has been brilliant. The lads have really, really got stuck in.
“Even if you are not hands-on, the construction industry offers so much. I have progressed because I found my passion was in business.
“I struggled in school, it wasn’t for me, and that is why I wanted to give something back and show the lads they are not alone. It has been a real challenge but it has been so rewarding.”
Four work stations were set up, teaching carpentry through building chairs, brick laying, wiring an electrical circuit and plumbing.
Brian said he had the idea but the day had been a solid partnership, thanks to support from assistant head teacher Maria Stewart and Matt Carter, head of year 11.
Mr Carter said: “It has worked out really well and to watch them at work has been incredible. I am so grateful because it is an opportunity to experience something different in school.”