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19th May 2016

York College was pleased to secure the support of local Dunnington based, construction and fit out contractor, Simpson (York) Ltd, for their first Step Up To Construction programme which focussed on Simpson offering three learning events.

Step Up Into Construction with SimpsonWEB  

Firstly Amanda Davidson, HR Advisor and Den Forster Systems Coordinator from Simpson ran a fun and informative activity exploring the design and build process, by encouraging the students to construct a giant tetrahedron using only 2 materials; short canes and elastic bands.

The students and their tutors were then invited to visit a live construction site, at the Simpson project at The Chocolate Works, where Simpson are presently redeveloping the landmark heritage grade 2 listed building in to apartments and a care village for Springfield Healthcare. The students were given a tour of the building by the Simpson project team and were able to discuss the construction works and also talk with the Simpson management and tradesmen about their skills, experience how they have developed their careers in the construction industry.

Amanda and Den also provided invaluable advice and guidance on interview techniques, tips on how to write a winning curriculum vitae and how to search effectively for employment in the construction industry.

Following the groups’ visit to the Terry’s Chocolate Works site, student Samuel Cousins said he was enthused by the prospect of gaining employment in the construction industry, saying: “I’ve never been on a construction site before and it was really interesting and informative. I feel like I’ve had a good insight into what it might be like to work on a building site on the restoration or renovation of a listed building.”

Amanda Davidson, HR Advisor from Simpson York said “Simpson are committed to supporting the communities in which they work, it is great to be working with York College in supporting local people in developing skills and finding employment in construction. As a part of this we are offering the opportunity of work experience on the Simpson Chocolate Works project, this will give the students the chance to use the skills they have learned in college, and further develop their confidence.”

York College is delighted to be working alongside lead partner Leeds City College and eleven other educational organisations in the region to deliver the Step Up In To Construction programme. The project is funded by the European Social Fun and CITB and runs until May 2017 and is for unemployed people who want to embark on a career in construction.

The College can offer support, information, advice and guidance on initial assessments for the scheme as well as training on the CITB Award in Health & Safety. Another bonus of the scheme is that York College can fund the SECS card (a legal requirement for building site workers). Sue Newton-Denton, Project Coordinator in the College Business Development Unit advises: “This is a great opportunity for anyone wanting to start a career in construction. The scheme allows individuals to have a taste of the industry and understand the skills required. The College is grateful to Simpson for their enthusiasm and support in getting unemployed people involved in the industry.”

Anyone interested in the Step Up Into Construction Programme should call the College's Business Development Unit: 01904 770368

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