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Students Build Skills with Site Experience

Construction students at Preston's College
Construction students at Preston's College

Construction students from Preston’s College recently swapped the classroom for real work experience.

Twelve students aged 16-18 studying Level 3 Professional Construction completed a week placement with leading contractors and employers across Lancashire, including  Conlon Construction, Fellside Land Developments and United Utilities.

Placements were devised based on students’ interests and career objectives meaning that those interested in architecture or quantity surveying had the opportunity to explore the roles available in a relevant company and department.

Spending their working-week alongside an industry mentor, students were urged to take notes and reflect on the experiences within their work placement booklet, which was later analysed amongst others in the classroom.

Andrew Cox, site manager at Conlon Construction who mentored student Tom Parkinson, said: “We are invested in helping the younger generation to discover the vast opportunities available across the construction sector and providing valuable experience. Tom left an excellent impression on our team through his work ethic and enthusiasm to learn and we’d be happy for him to return on further placements in the future.”

Mohammad Yusuf, programme team leader for Advanced Construction at Preston’s College, added: “As a College, we want to ensure that every student has the opportunity to gain as much real experience as possible to achieve our mission of creating the most employable learners.

“As well as improving students’ employability skills, practical experience aids learners in finding a career path that’s right for them. At this age youngsters may not know what exactly they want to do and work experience is vital in helping them to find and focus their minds on what they really enjoy.”

This initiative is just one of many delivered as part of the curriculum at Preston’s College that helps students to understand the working world. Local employers are often invited to the College to mark students’ work as well as deliver industry workshops and Q&A sessions.

“I’m extremely impressed by students’ performance and the positive feedback from employers. They’ve not only given a good impression of themselves but also of our College and a number of the employers have said they’d like to employ our students once their course completes,” continued Mohammad.

Students who complete a Level 3 Professional Construction course can progress onto a Level 4 HNC in Construction delivered in collaboration with University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) then onto a part-time degree course. Joining as a third year student, learners can gain academic qualifications that include project management, construction design, quantity and building surveying and architectural technology.

Andrew Mann
After 34 years working in numerous operational and communications disciplines for three FTSE companies (Yorkshire Electricity; Meggitt and BAE Systems), at over a dozen locations, on 24 November 2016, I became the inaugural editor of Business Lancashire. Business Lancashire is a good news, Lancashire focused, business website and daily newsletter. It is a partnership between The Samuel James Group and the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce. Over the years, I have written hundreds of press releases, features for trade magazines, copy for websites and brochures, edited in-house magazines and newsletters, as well as presenting a radio programme on Chorley FM. This experience has given me the ideal background for editing Business Lancashire.