Up to 80 construction students from Walsall College are set to benefit from on-site work experience with building contractors, J. Harper & Sons. Work is underway on a new affordable housing development for whg at Montgomery Road, Walsall. Two by two, the full-time college students will support J. Harper & Sons’ site teams with different parts of the project.
Bricklaying students, Kyle Murch and Mitchell Smith were the first to kickstart this roll call of industry work experience. Under the supervision of a site manager they supported the site team in laying blocks and other logistical tasks.
Neil Sambrook, Director of Faculty at Walsall College said: “There is no substitute for real world experience, so this opportunity for our students to translate their college learning on to a construction site with J. Harper & Sons is invaluable, particularly as they will see the outcome of their collective efforts when all work is completed.
“We are confident this will impact positively on their learning and development back on campus as well as the start of their professional working lives.”
During each stage of the housing development, students on brickwork, carpentry, multi-skills, plastering, electrical, plumbing, painting and decorating courses are aiming to be on site.
Several other students will be assigned to an additional site on Lime Avenue which is also being developed on behalf of whg.
Antony Rees, Group Managing Director at J. Harper & Sons (Leominster) Ltd said: “At J. Harper & Sons we believe it’s important that students have access to spaces where they can learn their trade practically, in addition to written studies on the journey from education to career.
“We’re pleased to be able to facilitate the learning of construction skills with students from local colleges on our sites such as these in Walsall.”
Alison Matthews, Employment and Skills Manager at whg added: “Working within communities and helping people and their neighbourhoods to flourish is a central part of what we do. Supporting people into employment is a key part of that.
“We are delighted that we are able to support this initiative and give young people the opportunity to work on one of our development sites. We hope the experience will inspire them and help shape their future careers.”