More than ten construction students are progressing on to quality apprenticeships after rising to the challenge of work experience during the months of lockdowns.
The construction students have been learning skills in plumbing, carpentry, brickwork and electrical skills.
Some of them were part of a T-Level pilot run by The Bedford College Group, a type of training course now rolled out nationally by the Government. Young people and adults aged 16 and over will be able to sign up for a wide range of T-Levels with the Group from September of this year (2021). A critical element of the courses is the combination of 80% college study and 20% real work experience offering a way to progress into apprenticeships or Higher Education.
Director of Science and Digital Technology at The Bedford College Group Jo Baxter said:
We are very pleased for the students from the Corby campus who have secured good placements with local employers. Real life work experience helps students develop the key skills they need to progress within their chosen careers and life skills that will help them be successful in the future.
“The work placements have benefitted local companies by filling skills gaps and enabling them to train individuals to suit their particular needs. We would like to thank all the employers that have supported us, and our students, in these challenging times.”
Kieran O’Keeffe, Workplace coordinator for Construction and Building Services at Tresham College (part of The Bedford College Group) is so proud of those on his watch:
“What is remarkable is the personal progress and sense of pride enjoyed by these students who came to us straight from school, with no experience of work and who took that big step and stayed the course.
“A high quality work placement can be transformational for a young person in so many ways. The prize for these traditional trades, is, of course, an apprenticeship. And these students have now captured that prize.
‘Progression is our primary focus and having good employer engagement is a key driver in delivering these high-end opportunities.
“Employers tell us they like the Tresham College work placement proposition very much. They also tells us they like students that have; respect, integrity, honesty, that they are eager and enthusiastic, and not continually on their phones.”
*Kieran entered into construction in 1976 at the age of 16 as a chain-boy (20th century term for young person who carried equipment for employer). He went on to work on major civil engineering projects including the Abbey National building in Milton Keynes, Newborough shopping centre in Kettering before working in bank assurance with TSB bank and Midland bank and entering into education with Manchester City college.