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Students get hands-on experience during build of new school in Weston-super-Mare

Construction for the new £12million North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College (NSETC) building has provided work experience opportunities for students.

NSETC, a 14-19 provider which is part of the Inspirational Futures Trust, a multi-academy trust, has worked with BAM Construct UK to arrange placements for students.

Four of the school’s year 12 engineering students have completed long-term experience for one day a week with BAM. Four year 10 and four year 11 students have also spent a full week on site.

BAM has also held a careers seminar for the school’s students and organised trips to the site – which is in the Junction 21 Enterprise Area in Weston-super-Mare – to show students milestone moments during the build.

NSETC Principal Karen Cornick said: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to use the construction of the new building as an opportunity to bring our students’ studies to life.

“Students are given the opportunity to experience real work so they can understand the skills employers need.

“They also receive up-to-date industry-led recruitment advice so they are aware of the future opportunities available to them and know what they need to achieve in school in order to be ahead of the field when it comes to applications.”

BTEC level 3 engineering students James Gibbon, 18, and Lewis Tolley, 17, helped to mark out a base line 500mm away from where a wall would be built, to keep it in line with plan drawings.

James said: “Everything on a building site is done according to grid lines, and we had to set out the points.

“We’re doing a general engineering course, and this isn’t something we have covered so it has been really interesting to learn about it as part of work experience.”

They also learned to use a theodolite camera, and Lewis said: “You have to focus the camera at a target and shoot to get a reading, which you have to co-ordinate to grid lines.”

NSETC is temporarily based at Weston College’s South West Skills Campus, but its new building is scheduled to be completed this summer.

Emma Bull, BAM’s Education and Community Manager, said: “BAM and NSETC have been working in partnership throughout the build to ensure unique opportunities for learning outcomes for students during the construction phase.

“This latest work experience programme has been an excellent way for the students to get involved in the real design development, reviewing the drawings we use to build the project.

“The students have gained an understanding of drawn design and its correlation to on-site implementation including material choices and aesthetic and structural considerations taken to ensure a quality, fit for purpose building for the school.”

NSETC WORK EXPERIENCE BAM - Lewis Tolley James Gibbon 11 NSETC WORK EXPERIENCE BAM - Lewis Tolley James Gibbon 20 (002) NSETC WORK EXPERIENCE BAM - Lewis Tolley James Gibbon 01 (002) NSETC WORK EXPERIENCE BAM - Lewis Tolley James Gibbon 07 (002)

Source: NSETC