Students from Coombe Dean School and Tavistock College experienced a working construction site when they visited the new Regional Centre of Excellence for STEM at City College Plymouth.
The £13million state-of-the-art facility, which is due to open in the autumn, is being funded by HotSW LEP, Plymouth City Council and the Regional Growth Fund. The Centre has seen more than 200 employers involved in shaping its development and will provide a flexible learning environment that simulates ‘real work’ scenarios with industry-standard workshops, laboratories and studios. It will be equipped with high-tech resources to support a broader and more relevant STEM curriculum.
The Centre is being built by Kier Construction. Senior Site Manager, Andy Shepherd, took the students on a tour and talked to them about the key aspects of a building project, as well as the different careers available in construction.
A student from Tavistock College said: “I really enjoyed the visit to the building site. I now have a better understanding of construction as a whole and what work goes into a big building. I am really sure that I want a job in construction as I love the idea of making something with other people and learning new skills.”
Another Tavistock College student said: “I’ve decided I do not want to be cooped up in an office or a shop; learning a trade and working on a site would suit me. I was amazed when my teacher told me how much tradespeople could earn and the range of jobs onsite. This trip has really opened my eyes to the opportunities available.”
Sarah Cunningham, a teacher from Coombe Dean School, said: “The students found the tour of the site very informative and worthwhile. Getting to see the facilities available to them gave a lot more scope for careers within the construction industry and what the College has to offer.”
Jo Williams, Youth Liaison Officer at the College added, “We hope that inviting the young people in to experience what a construction site looks like and offering them the chance to ask questions to industry professionals, was valuable to them. The College works with a lot of employers in the City and it was great to collaborate with Kier to offer the students this insight into the careers available to them.”
With STEM a local and national priority for addressing current and future skills shortages, the College’s new Centre will focus on the City’s priority sectors relating to STEM, to provide growth and investment in skills development, connectivity and innovation. This will include support for job creation, particularly in high-growth sectors, to drive productivity and promote enterprise.
For those interested in a career in construction, or any of the full or part-time study options available, the College is holding a Course Information Drop-in on Wednesday 8 March, 4.30pm to 6.30pm. Please visit cityplym.ac.uk/events or call 01752 305300 for more information.