Construction Apprentices Building the College’s Future
As Dudley Evolve, Dudley College's new vocational training centre on Tower Street, takes shape, 24 construction students have been employed as apprentices to work with the contractor's team on the new build. The students, who have been studying at the college for the last year, will now be using the bricklaying, plastering and carpentry skills they've been trained in to help build the college's future.
Working alongside existing tradesmen, the students are getting 'real' experience of life on a major construction project, and making their mark on the new multi-million pound training facility which is on track to open in September this year.
Using his block and bricklaying skills to erect internal and external walls, Ian Turner, 18, from Coseley explained "I’ve really enjoyed working on the college's new building, and although it was the first time I've been on site it went very well. The great thing about being an apprentice is that you get to find out how bricklayers work on site and I get paid for doing what I enjoy."
Dan Summers, 19, from Tipton said "Life on site is very different from being at college. Everything has to happen really fast, and you only get one chance to get it right. I've been working with a site carpenter laying the floor joists on level three of the building and after just a week doing a real job I feel more grown up and confident."
Dudley Evolve will house a range of superb purpose-built facilities, including a fitness suite, sports hall, 180-seat theatre and a hair and beauty salon, housed over four levels, in a modern, open environment, designed specifically for the students and staff.
"The construction of this incredible new training centre will give the apprentices plenty of opportunities to enhance their skills and get the valuable on-site experience many employers are looking for," explained Lowell Williams, Principal of Dudley College. "It is a wonderful opportunity for these students to be involved at such an exciting time as well as contributing to the college's future in a 'hands-on' way."
Jonathan Kell, Midland's managing director for main contractor ISG welcomed the new apprentices on site "As part of our commitment to local communities, ISG actively seeks to use the skills and expertise of the local labour force and trade suppliers. Employing apprentices from Dudley College recognises the importance that we place on helping to train the construction industry's future workforce, ensuring individuals have the correct skills, attitude and knowledge to meet the demands of this highly dynamic sector. The new apprentices have settled in well and are making a telling contribution to the construction of their new college facilities."
The students underwent a vigorous interview process, and were successfully selected from a large group of current full time students. They have also obtained the permits required by all workers employed in the construction industry.