Students from Westminster Kingsway College had the chance to gain a real insight into the building industry after undertaking work placements with Morgan Sindall Construction.
Around 20 Construction students visited the Bedford Passage building site in Cleveland Street, Camden, which is being redeveloped by the University College London Hospital Charity.
The £50 million project is due for completion in 2024 and will comprise and NHS medical centre along with a mix of commercial and residential properties including social housing.
Ronnie Sheehan, 16, and Frankie Paul, 17, were among four students chosen by Morgan Sindall Construction to gain an extra week’s work experience after visiting the site.
Ronnie said: “I would like to do something at a management level. I’m interested in being a quantity surveyor as I really like maths and working with numbers, it’s the challenge.
“Being on site has opened my eyes to what a construction environment is really like. You get to see it for yourself, it’s not stuff you can learn in a book. There were trades on site that I hadn’t ever have heard of, but they make sense when you think about it.”
Frankie said: “I’m on an electrical course and I’d like to be hands-on with a trade on a construction site. I’m more of a practical learner, that’s how my brain works best, so being here on site and seeing things for myself has been brilliant.
“Work experience like this is a really good opportunity to make sure this is the career route you want to pursue. Being on site has shown me how much more goes on here; all the deliveries and organising trades, etc. It’s not something you always think about in the classroom.”
During the initial visit, students were given a tour by Daniel Mayger, an Apprentice Site Manager, and Freddie Thomas, who is on a year’s placement as part of a BA (Hons) Quantity Surveying.
Daniel told the students about his apprenticeship and showed them how the piles were driven into the ground and concrete was poured over them to make watertight walls.
The students further heard from a site engineer and a groundworks contractor about their work on the site. They also took part in an insulation pricing workshop and learnt about risk assessments and the legal and commercial aspects of construction.
Paul Jennings, Community Investment Manager at Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “Construction is not often seen as a career choice, but the industry needs to recruit new people to fulfil future roles and developments in the industry.
“The Government’s plan to drive economic growth through infrastructure delivery will only be achieved with the recruitment of a skilled workforce. These skills are not just site based; there are exciting career opportunities in HR, marketing, finance, procurement and business development.
“It is vital we continue to strengthen links with educational institutions such as Westminster Kingsway College to train our workforce of the future.”