Work experience gives North East construction students a career boost
Published by Kelly Elliott for Keepmoat in Housing and also in Communities
17-year-old fitted interiors student Ryan McCardle (centre), who has carried out work experience with Keepmoat, is presented with East Durham College’s Fitted Interiors Student of the Year prize by Capital FM breakfast show presenters Bodg, Matt and JoJ
When it comes to finding a job, the lack of relevant experience can often be a barrier for many young people.
But construction students in County Durham are being given the chance to put theory into practice after housing and regeneration specialist Keepmoat stepped in to offer work experience placements.
The company has invited students from East Durham College’s Technical Academy for Construction to spend time working alongside its own experienced staff.
And with Keepmoat currently carrying out improvements to local properties on behalf of East Durham Homes, there are plenty of opportunities for the youngsters to put their skills to the test.
Second-year plastering student Liam Measor recently spent 12 weeks with Keepmoat and said the experience would put him in good stead when it came to looking for a job in the future.
The 17-year-old from Peterlee said: “These days most employers want you to have work experience so it’s really important to get out in the real world and get some experience under your belt.
“Working with Keepmoat was great – it meant I could use what I had learnt at College and put it into practice. It was also good to meet people working in the industry and make some contacts which could be really useful in the future.”
Fitted interiors student Ryan McCardle, 17, also carried out work experience with Keepmoat and impressed his tutors so much he was named Fitted Interiors Student of the Year at the college’s annual award ceremony.
Ryan, from Murton, said: “I feel really lucky to have been given the chance to work with a national company like Keepmoat – it was a great experience and will hopefully make me stand out when it comes to finding a job.”
The Technical Academy, in Peterlee, was set up in 2010 to provide training for construction industry workers and students wishing to make a career in the sector.
Training is provided in a range of skills including electrical technology, gas installation and maintenance, fitted interiors, plastering and wall and floor tiling.
Technical Academy Centre Manager Robert Hutchinson said: “The value of work experience opportunities such as these really can’t be underestimated – it gives students the chance to put what they have learnt in the classroom into practice and means when it comes to looking for employment they already have experience of the working world.
“Keepmoat have been very supportive of the Academy and we’re very grateful for the opportunities they have given our students – during the current economic climate, experiences like these are even more important.”
Keepmoat construction manager Barry Metters said: “These students are the next generation of skilled construction workers and we are really keen to help them gain the experience they need.
“The students we’ve had have been bright, enthusiastic and keen to learn as much as possible – it’s a pleasure to have them on board.”