Sheffield Housing Company is teaming up with Chaucer School in Parson Cross to bridge the skills gap between classroom and career.
And the £15,000 investment will help to support a project at the school, where a working construction site is to be created by young learners.
The Design Engineer Construct course has been developed by Class of Your Own – an initiative established to address the serious lack of young talent in the construction industry.
Part of the programme is attracting businesses to adopt a school, fund the course and provide opportunities for students to experience, at first hand, the roles and responsibilities involved in bringing a large scale construction project to completion.
They will engage with industry professionals, visit live sites, learn new skills and explore the varied employment opportunities offered in the built environment. Alongside this, they can attain qualifications recognised both by the industry and the Department for Education.
The support from Sheffield Housing Company and Class of Your Own will further enhance the school’s commitment to applied, immersive learning and will form part of a wider initiative that will see an unused part of the school building transformed into a working construction site.
There, students will be able to apply the knowledge learned in the classroom, honing new technology skills in 3D modelling and environmental analysis, as well as developing creative and applied skills in a range of disciplines including architecture, site engineering and facilities management. They will also have the chance to try their hand at a range of practical skills such as bricklaying and plastering.
Scott Burnside, Head of Chaucer School said:
“Evidence shows every day immersion is the most effective way to learn anything and our school’s ‘Every child, every day’ policy ensures equality of opportunity for all our students through character development and enhanced educational provision for employability.
“By working with industry professionals that share knowledge and expertise with our young people, we can develop a learning environment on site that is designed by students, built by students and used by students – delivering applied learning with a real impact both academically and personally.”
Sheffield Housing Company – a joint venture between the city council, developer Keepmoat and landlord Great Places – will build 2,300 new affordable homes over the next 15 years. Three sites are currently underway.
Project Director, Tom Fenton, added:
“Part of the remit of the company is to engage with local communities and provide educational and training opportunities for young people. This project enables us to achieve all of this.
“It will show students the career opportunities available in construction while teaching them accredited practical skills which will hugely enhance their prospects of finding jobs in the future – hopefully on one of our own developments. I think it is a great idea and we very much look forward to getting involved.”
Alison Watson, a former land surveyor, established Class of Your Own in 2009 and devised the Design Engineer Construct curriculum to promote technical and professional careers in the built environment.
“The image of the construction industry has suffered so much over the years. Children need to know that their tech skills and natural ability to work in a team can lead to some incredible careers in architecture, engineering and construction.
“Design Engineer Construct breathes life into the vocational education system and we expect some great successes at Chaucer. We’re all delighted to be working with a school that sets the bar high for its students.”
Cllr. Leigh Bramall, the city council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Business Skills and Development, added:
“The blossoming partnership between Sheffield Housing Company and Chaucer School through the Class of Your Own project can make a real difference to the lives of many young people in Parson Cross, giving students valuable insight into the construction industry and the practical skills to further their chances of employment in this field.
“This city is proud to be delivering some of the best quality homes in the UK through the work of Sheffield Housing Company and we want these values to be embedded in the aspirations and ambitions of the next generation”.