Hands on experience

8th March 2018 | posted in News

Students on construction and building courses have been getting hands-on experience at our new housing development in Darlington – and they have only had to cross the road to do it!

Young people studying NVQs at Darlington College have been making regular visits to see the professionals in action at Railway Housing Association’s development off Haughton Road, which is directly opposite the College.

Brick-layers, plumbers, joiners and electricians are amongst those who have undertaken week-long work experience placements.

It is part of a partnership between Darlington College, Railway Housing Association and its contractor, Tolent.

The Association is building 73 new homes for rent close to the historic 1825 Darlington to Stockton Railway Line. This includes an engine shed built in 1844 and which, due to its Listed Building status, is being sympathetically converted into homes.

Tolent’s Project Manager on the scheme, Peter Elliott, said: “Because of its history and location, this is a very interesting development to work on and we wanted to ensure that the students who came to us felt fully involved and engaged.

“So, rather than just simply shadowing our staff, they have been getting hands-on experience and under our guidance the bricklayers have been laying bricks, the joiners have fitted wood inside the homes and the electricians have been installing cables.

“This means that when the development is complete they will be able to point out the things they were responsible for, which will be fantastic for their CVs as they seek permanent employment.”

Claire Turner, Darlington College’s Marketing and Employer Engagement Manager, said: “The feedback we have received from the students and their lecturers on the work experience has been excellent.

“The students have been able to bring what they have learnt on site back into the classroom and it will definitely stand them in good stead as they either continue their learning at the college or enter the workplace in the future.”

Anne Rowlands, Chief Executive of Railway Housing Association, said: “This is one of the biggest and most exciting developments in our recent history, so we are delighted to have been able to share this with students studying at the College.

“It’s great they have been getting meaningful, hands-on experience and who knows, they may even end up working on one of our schemes in the future.”

Completion of the first of the 73 properties is expected in April 2018. All the houses, bungalows and apartments will be let to applicants from Darlington Borough Council’s and the Association’s waiting lists.

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