This week (16th March) three Bradford schools showed off their design and build skills as part of a schools competition organised by Incommunities.
The Interbuild Skills event took place at the housing group’s Construction Training Centre and involved three upper schools – Tong High School, Carlton Bolling College and Grange Technology College.
It aimed to give the students a hands-on taster of working in the construction sector and coincided with National Apprenticeship Week (14-18th March).
On the day, the budding builders worked in teams to test their design, construction and marketing skills in a practical exercise supported by Incommunities’ trade professionals and managers.
Jade Claughton and Summer Hill were among six students from Tong High School who built a dining room table. They said: “We are doing joinery at school and worked out our design beforehand and then put the table together in just a few hours. It’s been great to put our skills into action.”
The Grange College team made a single bed that converted into a double. Thomas Gabor from the team said: “We prepared models and used these to create the full-size bed.
“It’s been great to see it develop in front of you. It’s also been interesting to look at what the other teams have been making and meet them.”
Hashim Mahmood and his Year 9 and 10 team from Carlton Bolling College made the biggest structure of the day – an ornamental brick built garden viaduct. The team members are currently studying for their Level 2 qualifications in bricklaying. Hashim said: “It’s been good to apply the practical skills we are learning and create this big garden feature and it’s made me think about applying for an apprenticeship.”
To round off the day each team made presentations to a judging panel which included representatives from the Construction Industry Training Board and WISE – a national campaign to get more women into construction, science, technology, engineering and manufacturing.
The overall standard proved very high and the eventual winners were Carlton Bolling College.
National Apprenticeship Week is coordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service and is designed to celebrate the positive impact of this type of vocational training for individuals, businesses and the economy.
Geraldine Howley, Incommunities’ Group Chief Executive, said: “We want to show that construction is open to all and working with local schools, the Construction Industry Training Board and WISE we are committed to engaging with more young people.
“Our annual Interbuild Skills competition is a fabulous way to raise awareness of the opportunities in construction and the value of apprenticeships in building a multi skilled and diverse workforce.”
Jez Lester, Incommunities’ Assistant Chief Executive, Asset Management, said: “It’s been fantastic to see these ‘budding builders’ inspired by the construction challenge.
“It’s been a really rewarding day and hopefully its set some of today’s participants onto their first steps towards apprenticeship. We might even see some joining our own programme!”
James Tilbrook, Apprenticeships Officer at the Construction Industry Training Board, said: “It’s been a great day and given these young people a valuable insight into what construction apprenticeships are all about.
“Hopefully, this event will attract more new talent into the industry in the coming years and raise awareness of the range of trade careers available.”
Shagufta Sharif, Communications Officer, WISE, said: “It’s been fantastic to see both boys and girls rising to the challenge of developing their designs.
“There are lots of opportunities for women in construction and events like this can prove to be really inspiring, particularly when they see what is involved and the opportunities out there.
“Apprenticeships are a great way to learn employability skills and it’s good to see employers like Incommunities invest in local talent.”