Building students gain first-hand experience on own college construction site

A group of level 5 higher apprentices in construction management take a site tour.
A group of level 5 higher apprentices in construction management take a site tour.

Students at Leeds College of Building are gaining hands-on construction experience after visiting their new £13-million Hunslet campus site.

Since work started on the foundations last October, a total of 186 student site visits and 14 group tours have been organised up until June.

The tours – covering various phases of construction – were led by Clugston project manager, Steve Hornby, and site manager, Jon Cousins. A further two student workshops were also delivered regarding construction planning, ground works and sub-structures.

Leeds College of Building has received an £11.9m investment through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal for the project – a £1bn package of government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds city region.

As a result of the project, two bricklaying students are due to start work placements on site soon, and a Clugston trainee engineer working on site now attends Leeds College of Building for tuition. Additional placement opportunities are being explored with contractor Clugston and project supply-chain partners.

Derek Whitehead, deputy principal at Leeds College of Building, said: “Developing the employability skills of our students is a key strategy for the college, which also links in with the Leeds City Region Employment and Skills Plan and addressing the skills gap in the construction sector. Site visits and work placement opportunities provide students with invaluable experience; they benefit immensely from being able to experience life on a live site. What’s even more rewarding is that the students will be able to make informed decisions on their career paths in the industry.”