Work experience builds confidence in construction students

Jeevan Singh

Work experience builds confidence in construction students

Construction students have been building their confidence recently through a valuable project of work experience at Forth Valley College’s new Falkirk Campus.

Organised by Balfour Beatty who are building the new campus, a total of 27 students were able to access a week of work experience in a variety of trades such as joinery, plumbing, welding and electrical.

Jeevan Singh (19) from Denny, who was placed with sub-contractors MMM Joinery working on ceilings, said: “I really enjoyed my work experience with MMM Joinery contractors for Balfour Beatty at the new Falkirk Campus. They were really helpful and I got to meet their apprentices. I would thoroughly recommend the work experience and the course and I am now looking to try and get a Carpentry and Joinery Modern Apprenticeship myself, so maybe I will end up back studying at Forth Valley College soon as part of that.”

Gordon Berry, FVC’s Estates Development Manager, said: “This opportunity came about as part of the Community Benefits Package from a joint venture with Balfour Beatty, the FVC’s Estates Development team and the Learner Development Workers, Essential Skills programme.  Joseph Drugan from Balfour Beatty came into the college and carried out a series of CV workshops with a particular emphasis on the construction industry. Balfour Beatty then offered to pay for 38 students to take their CSCS health and safety test and 27 passed. Balfour Beatty then kindly offered work experience places to these 27 students and these placements started at the end of July.”

Kim Reid, Student Advice Coordinator, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity that the students have been afforded.  The placements have ranged from joinery, electrical and plumbing and have allowed the students to take their learning into a real, live working site and puts their learned skills into practice. Of all the work the Learner Development Workers carries out, the Career Management strand is one of the most important as it takes what the students learn in the classroom and helps them to translate it into language that helps them secure employment. With this added opportunity, we are hopeful that it enhances their employment chances. It is also a fantastic example of cross departmental working, even within support services and shows how all staff at Forth Valley College play a vital role in our students’ futures.”

The new campus - which is earmarked for completion in early 2020 - will complete FVC’s ambitious estates programme which saw their £21 million Alloa Campus opened in 2011 and their £29 million Stirling Campus opened a year later.

The new £78 million Falkirk HQ will focus heavily on training facilities designed for science and technology, engineering, sport and healthcare, and will have state-of-the-art provision and capabilities to accommodate a wide range of FVC’s courses.

Unique facilities will include, world class laboratories, a process training rig, transmission training centre, distillation plant, virtual control room, mini rig, biotechnology centre, sports centre and front of house training salons for hairdressing and beauty – all of which will offer exceptional learning experiences.

With a progressive approach to learning and teaching there will also be state-of-the-art classrooms, flexible spaces across the campus and highly advanced technology throughout. Other facilities will include a first class learning resource centre, food outlets, conferencing and sports facilities.

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