16 October 2017

Construction students at West Nottinghamshire College have been learning how one of the UK’s leading house-builder’s latest development sites operates.

Keepmoat Homes’ Meadow Lane site in Shirebrook, is a new development of more than 150 two, three and four-bedroomed homes. Students on the Level 3 Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment course were able to have a guided tour of the site so far.

Last week (11 October) construction trainee Elizabeth Findlay, met with the class along with Keepmoat’s community and investment manager Charlene Withall to introduce the students to the new development which is scheduled for completion in March 2018.

Elizabeth, from Ripley in Derbyshire, was a student on the Level 3 Diploma at the college last year and is now studying construction management and property development at the University of Derby, while training to be a site manager with Keepmoat Homes.

She said: “It’s been lovely to show current students around this new development. I’m here on-site most of the time apart from when I’m at university. I work with around 35 contractors on-site, from a number of construction disciplines. On this development there will be two more phases to come. This current phase will be complete around March 2018.

“Working on a live project like this is great and it’s helping to expand my knowledge at university since I can now apply the skills of house-building from this site to my written work.”

The government has recently confirmed plans for a new generation of council and housing association homes. Funding for affordable homes will be increased by a further £2 billion to more than £9 billion. Within Mansfield itself there are large scale housing developments taking place, like this one in Shirebrook, which will boost the economy and provide jobs and apprenticeships for the local area.

The learners, who are set to go on to higher education or careers such as building surveying, project management and architecture, had a tour led by Elizabeth and an opportunity to ask questions about the industry.

As part of the course students have to gain an understanding of how construction sites are developed and controlled and they cover modules and assignments such as construction technology, tendering and estimating, building surveying and control and planning application procedures.

Building services curriculum manager Lynsey Hanson accompanied the students on today’s visit. She said: “It’s really exciting to come to a live development site. We talk about the many construction methods and how to build houses, in the classroom, so it’s ideal for learners to see it for real.

“With the increase in house-building there will be more demand for professional construction students such as ours, to design and manage the next phase of construction projects like this one at Keepmoat.

“Today they’ve been able to see everything from the foundation work right up to the completed builds. This will mean they can write extensively about today’s experience within their next assignments.”

Nineteen-year-old student Sumanjit Johal, who is hoping to go to university to train to be an architect, said: “Today’s visit will definitely help me improve my assignments. We’re getting a different angle to our research. On-site you can actually be up close to building materials and see things to scale.”

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