Students cement building blocks of careers

02 December 2021

STUDENTS at Middlesbrough College are quite literally building their own futures as they get hands-on with a multi-million-pound project to enhance their campus.

Budding brickies have been helping to build pieces of the College’s new Digital Centre, Construction Skills Centre and extended catering facilities.

Under the watchful eye of professionals at Surgo Construction, the students have been working on the build as part of industry placements designed to give them the skills and experience needed to succeed in the industry.

Katharine Hawking, head of work experience and T Level industry placements at Middlesbrough College, said: “We work closely with hundreds of employers to create high quality work placements for our students across different subject areas.

“But it’s unusual for a placement to literally be on the College’s doorstep!

“We were thrilled when Surgo gave us the opportunity to give our students a unique chance, not only to build their skills, but also build part of their own college.”

Speaking of the importance of providing students with hands-on experience, Surgo’s director, Martin Blight said: “Encouraging young people into the industry is vital to ensure its future sustainability, so I am pleased we can provide this practical opportunity. 

“The best way to learn the art of bricklaying is through hands-on experience and it means that the students will be reminded of one of their first practical tasks whenever they pass by the building in the future.”

Level 3 Bricklaying students Chloe Fitton and Lewis Glass were among those putting into practice the knowledge and skills they’ve picked up at the College, while Surgo site manager Andrew Laidler was on hand to oversee their work and offer practical tips and advice.

The Construction Centre, which is set to open early 2022, will be home to students studying new T Level qualifications – the technically focused alternative to A Levels that gives learners a minimum 45 days of on-the-job experience.

Tutors at the College will use the Centre to teach students about tools, techniques and materials.

Practical skills such as bricklaying, joinery, paving, roofing and plumbing are all delivered by tutors will extensive industry backgrounds.

Further to delivering The Construction Centre, Surgo recently completed works on a £3.1m 11,800sqft extension to the college’s STEM Centre.

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