Construction students have been gaining a solid foundation in the skills needed to work in the industry on a major housing project in Enfield.
Groups of learners from The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) have been undertaking work experience at the Dujardin Mews site since June 2016.
CONEL offers a wide range of construction apprenticeships and courses from Level 1 to Level 3 in areas including bricklaying, carpentry and joinery, dry lining, electrical installation and plumbing.
Dujardin Mews is the first phase of the Ponders End Regeneration programme and is the first social housing to be built in the London borough for 40 years.
The development includes a mixture of town houses, flats and maisonettes and is due to be completed in February 2017.
The latest work placement saw seven students from the College work on all aspects of construction at the site, including plumbing, electrical installation and painting and decorating.
The work placements were arranged in partnership with construction firm Durkan, Joe Brennan Training (JBT), property developer Countryside and Enfield Council.
“Growing up I was surrounded by family who worked in construction, and I thought I might have a natural talent for it,” said Level 1 Carpentry student Ben Newton,19.
“I’ve learnt a lot at the College and on work placement from learning how to work better as a team to situational awareness and other skills you need on site.”
Level 2 Plumbing student Anthony Tsangaris, 20, said: “I’ve always wanted to be a plumber. I am very practical and like using my hands, and I now have a much better knowledge of the job and the tools you need to use. The teaching at the College has been very good and the tutors are very supportive. I’ve enjoyed my time at CONEL”
A number of students who have worked on the Dujardin Mews site are expected to be chosen for trainee positions or apprenticeships with JBT and Countryside on a much larger project to build nearly 1,000 new homes on the Alma Estate.
“Dujardin Mews has not only provided a platform for training in construction, it has also presented a clear progression for CONEL students to move on to accredited apprenticeships on the Alma Estate over the next three years,” said Kevin O’Connor, Head of Social Responsibility and Inclusion at Durkan.
“The quality of students from the College has been excellent, and we were delighted to offer the opportunity for them to gain experience on a working construction site.”
The Construction Skills Network’s Industrial Insights 2016-2020 report expects the industry to grow by 2.5% each year – 3.5% in Greater London.
Cllr Alan Sitkin, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Business at Enfield Council, said: “The large number of massive development schemes planned in Enfield means it is a hugely exciting time for the construction industry in this borough. It is vital that schemes such as these seek to raise awareness of the opportunities that exist for young people in the construction and other industries.”