Housebuilder helps students develop design skills

Construction students in Kent are being taught the tools of the trade with help from Redrow Homes.

The award-winning housebuilder, with its regional headquarters in Chatham, has formed a partnership with Medway UTC, a new school in Medway which specialises in engineering, construction and design.

To help address the skills shortage students aged 14 to 19 (year 10 through to year 13) are studying for BTEC in Construction and the Built Environment alongside their GCSEs and A-levels.

As part of the partnership Redrow is hosting a series of educational visits, offering students the opportunity to work as trainee site assistants and offering live project experience to complement their studies.

The company has also supplied high-vis vests and hard hats to help keep the students safe while they’re on construction sites.

Mark Becker, technical director for Redrow Homes (South East), says:

‘The construction industry is facing a skills shortage and we’re helping address that by working with education providers such as the Medway UTC and also offering apprenticeships at our offices and building sites. Between us we can ensure that young people gain the experience and qualifications they need to build successful careers.”

As part of their course, students need to understand the use of computer aided design (CAD) programmes within the industry and visited Redrow’s Chatham office to see how the company’s technical department use the software.

Carl Holdaway, teacher of construction at Medway UTC, said:

“The visit to the Redrow office was a fabulous learning experience for our students. It’s so important for them to have opportunities like this and to hear from leading professionals as it brings their classroom learning to life.  It’s given a great insight into architecture for our students interested in this area of work.”

Medway UTC construction student Rebecca Driver, said:

“It was really useful to hear first-hand from people who use the CAD software on a daily basis as part of their job, and particularly how efficient and productive this is for Redrow.”

Ryan Robin, head boy at Medway UTC, added:

“The visit really opened my eyes to what CAD does in the working world.  We’ve been given lots of useful information to take away too, like floor plan layouts of Redrow’s housetypes, along with their sales literature.  It makes our learning all very real.”

As part of their course students will also make a visit to Redrow’s St Andrew’s Park development in Halling, where they will learn about a structure’s performance requirements including thermal insulation, weather resistance, as well as preconstruction work that takes place, understanding the design constraints on sub and super structures.

For more information about training opportunities with Redrow see www.redrowcareers.co.uk/apprentices

To discover more about Medway UTC see medwayutc.co.uk