Darlington College has teamed up with Keepmoat Homes, which is currently developing a housing scheme next door at Central Park.
Officials from Keepmoat Homes have been into college to talk to construction students about the incredible opportunities available globally within an industry hungry for talent.
Students, including those learning their joinery and bricklaying trades, were encouraged to join the Keepmoat Homes Academy; with those that did offered a week’s work trial to get a feel of the roles and responsibilities and ethos of the company.
Successful candidates could join an apprenticeship programme opening up a variety of employment opportunities. The scheme may be extended to other vocational areas in the future.
The Keepmoat Homes Academy was established with Darlington College last month to create unique, real and relevant learning opportunities for college students.
Curriculum manager for Construction Lisa Bowerbank said: “Our aim is to make students’ studies relevant to the working world they are about to enter.
“While their classroom and workshop studies are absolutely essential to give them the skills they will need, the partnership with Keepmoat makes their college life fee real offering an incredible insight into the construction industry and the chance to secure a job.”
Under the initiative college staff ensure training for construction students meets the latest requirements while offering curriculum and pastoral support on a daily basis. They also advise Keepmoat Homes staff of the requirements of the curriculum so they can match work to this on site.
Keepmoat Homes officials ensure curriculum support is provided to the college in relation to construction methods, that placements allow students to learn and information, advice and guidance is given to students to enable them to achieve their goals.
Opportunities for students include construction workshops, presentations, employability skills sessions, site visits, talks to students from key Keepmoat Homes staff, work placements and apprenticeships with Keepmoat and sub-contractors.
Successful candidates will become role models to the next cohort of students at the college to encourage them in their studies and encourage them to be part of the next generation of apprentices.
Geoff Scott, Community Engagement and Investment Manager at Keepmoat Homes, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this partnership and the development of the Keepmoat Homes Academy which will strengthen our existing relationship with Darlington College.
The partnership will support a number of initiatives and groups within the college and ensure students have access to apprenticeships and training opportunities with Keepmoat Homes in the Darlington area over the next few years. Our industry is facing a nationwide skills crisis and so inspiring the next generation into construction is very much at the fore of our agenda.”