The 30-week course, developed and funded by Berkeley Homes, is the first of its kind in the school. It sees professional tradespeople pass on practical skills, showing students an alternative to mainstream subjects.
With full attendance so far and glowing reports from students, their parents and teachers, the programme is off to a promising start.
Rosalind Foley, Lead Support Assistant for the class said “I’m so pleased with the progress of all of our students; hands-on learning has really brought out the best in them but more importantly it has given them the experience that could lead to an exciting career.”
Taught in a purpose-built workshop facility at nearby Highbury College, students have been learning bricklaying, carpentry and plastering, alongside important lessons in health and safety.
Enthusiasm was particularly high after the Level 1 class visited their first site in February. While site experience is a fantastic way to get a real insight into what a job on-location would really be like, it is often not experienced until the first day of employment. The 15-16 year olds now have more site exposure than some older students finishing college at Level 3.
The BTEC Level 1 Extended Certificate in Construction is just the start for some of the year group, with a quarter of the class having already started planning their next steps into a career in construction.
Student, Devon Cooper, said
I have already contacted a local builder to ask about Saturday work…I am definitely interested in an apprenticeship in plastering. I’ve really enjoyed this section of the course and I think I could make a good job out of it.
Source: Berkeley Group
This initiative forms part of the Employment and Skills Plan (ESP) that Berkeley Homes agreed with Gosport Borough Council in relation to the planning consent for The Bridge House residential development at Royal Clarence Yard.
The ESP focuses on the construction phase of the development and aims to develop the local skills base and provide job opportunities on the Gosport peninsula.