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  • Young people in big skills challenge

    Pupils from three Bradford upper schools went head-to-head in a building competition organised by Incommunities and supported by the Construction Industry Training Board.

    The Interbuild Skills event brought together budding builders from Carlton Bolling College, Oastlers School and Grange Technology College.

    The event aimed to give the year 9 and 10 students a hands-on taster of working in the construction sector and marked National Apprenticeship Week (6-10th March).

    On the day they worked in teams to test their design, construction and marketing skills in a practical exercise supported by Incommunities’ trade professionals and young apprentices.

    The challenge took place at the housing group’s purpose-build Construction Training Centre.

    Seven students from Carlton Bolling College created a duel-purpose outdoor table and planter.

    Team leader, Omor Faruk said: “We worked together to design a novelty piece of garden furniture, ideal for summertime. We’ve really enjoyed turning our idea into the finished product.”

    The team from Grange Technology College showed off their design and build skills by creating a three-in-one garden feature – a bird box and insect house which could be stored in a hedgehog house. They took their inspiration from the RSPB’s ‘Give Nature a Home’ campaign.

    Jake Cook from the team said: “We are all studying for a BTEC in construction so it’s been great to develop our practical skills and meet some of Incommunities’ apprentices.”

    Tyler Smith was part of a team of four from Oastlers School who created the biggest structure of the day – a 3D interactive eye. The design aimed to educate people about different sight impairments.

    Tyler said: “We’ve researched different eye conditions and have developed this design which can be fitted with different filters. We’ve all had a great day learning new skills together.”

    Each team made a presentation to a judging panel which included representatives from the Construction Industry Training Board.

    The overall standard proved very high and the eventual winners were Oastlers School.

    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: “Working with local schools, colleges and the Construction Industry Training Board we are committed to encouraging more young people into the sector.

    “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 boys and girls rising to the challenge of turning their design ideas into the finished structures.

    “It’s been a really rewarding day and hopefully it has inspired some of today’s participants to take their first steps towards an apprenticeship. We might even see some joining our own programme!”

    Jeremy Wright, Partnerships Manager at the Construction Industry Training Board, said: “It’s been a great day and given these young people a valuable insight into what construction work is all about.

    “Apprenticeships are a great way to learn employability skills and it’s good to see employers like Incommunities investing in local talent.

    “Construction offers fantastic career opportunities which are showcased on the industry led website goconstruct.org. From joinery and brickwork to civil engineer and senior management positions, there is something for everyone”.