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Construction After School Club

Furness College’s bid to fill the skills gap in Cumbria

Published on: Tuesday 8th November 2016
Categorised under: Work, Learn , Construction, Cumbria, Education, Furness College

Students have been learning the tricks of the trade as part of a new initiative at Furness College.

The Channelside campus has launched a new series of after-school clubs focussed on showcasing vocational skills such as plastering and bricklaying.

With a shortage of skills in the construction industry, the college hopes that classes such as these will help to ease the strain on local firms as well as increase employment after leaving education.

Construction lecturer Darran Curtis, led the session at Furness College, a partner of Choose Cumbria.

He said: “There is a massive shortage of bricklayers and plasterers in the area plus there are plans to build 1,900 houses in Barrow, Dalton and Askam and 1,200 in the Ulverston area so they need skilled people to do it.

“This is a great opportunity for some school leavers to get the qualifications to have an excellent career.”

He added that with the influx of work at firms such as BAE Systems, more people were now extending their properties and making home improvements.

Following the focus on construction skills there will be clubs in education, motor vehicles, hair and beauty, catering, health and social care and sport and public services running until February.

Mia Lavender, 15, is taking part in the construction after-school club after visiting the workshop for a taster day.

She said: “We did a building competition, that’s when I thought about it as a career. It’s something more practical and I’m somebody who is more hands on.

“I want to work in the building industry so this is a good opportunity and there are not many girls in bricklaying that I’m aware of.”

Furness College school liaison co-ordinator Sandra Rollinson said the college wanted to give the pupils an insight into what the course entailed.

“At Year 10 and Year 11 they start to make big decisions about their futures so it’s important to let them experience the course and the learning environment as well as to introduce them to our lecturers.”

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