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Invaluable on site experience for local students

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Invaluable on site experience for local students


Published by Anonymous for Sanctuary Housing Association in Housing and also in Education

Paignton Academy students during their site visit Paignton Academy students during their site visit

Sanctuary Group is working in partnership with its contractor Leadbitter, a Bouygues UK company, to provide a unique learning experience at its development site in Torbay.

The leading housing and care provider is developing the Hayes Road site in Paignton to provide a total of 123 new homes built in three separate phases. The first phase included 22 apartments and was completed in September 2013, the second phase is the 62-bed Whitley Court extra care scheme due to complete later this month and the final phase includes 32 apartments and seven bungalows due for completion in early 2015.

The £14 million scheme, supported by investment from the Homes and Communities Agency, will provide much needed affordable housing in the area and is also creating an opportunity for students of all ages to enhance their classroom learning through tailored on-site visits.

Two groups of students from Paignton Academy recently visited the Hayes Road site. Wearing steel toe-capped boots, hard hats, high visibility vests, safety glasses and gloves, the 15 and 16-years-olds who are studying a BTEC Level 2 in Construction and the Built Environment, were given a complete tour of the development. This included a general overview of the pre-construction work and the process for laying the foundations as well as a closer look at the demolition site and one of the completed blocks.

The students will be invited back for further site visits during the academic year to view the different stages of construction.

Mike Santon, Sanctuary’s Head of Development - South West, said: “The creation of training and employment opportunities is a key priority for Sanctuary Group and we are delighted to be working with Leadbitter to offer on-site experience to local students at our Hayes Road development.  We hope the recent visits proved both informative and enjoyable, and look forward to welcoming the students back to the site during the course of their BTEC studies.”

Rob Bradley, Managing Director of Leadbitter and Bouygues UK’s Western team, said: “Giving students the experience of visiting a construction project is an excellent way of bringing their courses to life. We aim to engage with local schools and colleges on all our projects, as this can help encourage children to consider pursuing a rewarding career in the construction industry.”

David O’Connor, Head of BTEC Construction of Paignton Academy, said: “The building site visits were an excellent opportunity for our construction trainees to experience a live construction site, in which they gained valuable inside knowledge of the industry. They met a variety of friendly and helpful construction staff including Neil, the building site manager, and Jackie, who was very helpful in answering questions. The amazing opportunity the pupils have is that they can follow the building site process from start to finish. They can see the building progress which not only strengthens their knowledge but also their interest in the construction industry in their future.”

The Hayes Road development has offered additional training and employment opportunities in addition to these student visits. This has included 30 work placements and the creation of five new apprenticeships, plus work for eight existing apprentices on site and a further four off-site. A trainee quantity surveyor has also been taken on.

- Ends –


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