Construction students at Bucks UTC have seen in practice what they are learning in the classroom, visiting several building sites to learn the trade.
The brownfield site builder and developer Inland Homes has worked with the college to facilitate six visits to some of its major developments, and more than 40 students have jumped at the chance to get involved.
Representatives from across Inland Homes first met the students in June when they attended the college to speak about their roles and the career opportunities available in the industry.
The classroom presentations have been followed with visits to Abbey Wharf in Alperton, Lily’s Walk in High Wycombe and Farriers Wood in Garston.
Sebastian Czajka, Project Manager at Inland Homes’ Abbey Wharf development, has hosted three visits to his site.
He said: “Construction is a great industry to work in, with lots of change happening, and by showing them a best practice site in action - a live construction site - we hope we have been able to build a picture of life in the industry and help them decide whether this is something they want to do in their lives."
“There is a shortage of construction workers but there are also so many other opportunities, not necessarily on site in trades but also technical and commercial roles, and it is rewarding for us that we are able to demonstrate this.”
Kevin Fraud, Lecturer at Bucks UTC, added: “Opportunities like these make it real, it opens up their eyes to what it actually means working in construction, to the planning, the procedures, the project management – understanding the logistics of it all.”
For students Oliver Jones, Kinga Karasz and Robert Gomez Gomez, the visits were more than just a break from the classroom – as welcome as that was!
“I’m not entirely sure what I want to do when I leave, I’m keeping my options open but visits like these are useful in helping me decide,” said Oliver.
For Kinga, who is aiming to be a civil engineer, architect or quantity surveyor, the visit gave an opportunity to find out more about these career options: “I really enjoyed today, having the opportunity to walk around and asking questions. I’ve learnt too much to even start,” she said.
Robert, who has his sights set on being an architect added: “It’s been really useful, definitely, and 100% a good break from the classroom!”
The college and site visits are the first step in what is hoped will become a long-term partnership and apprentice recruitment programme with the college.