Students broken out of college to experience construction megaprojects

Birmingham students given exclusive access to London’s biggest construction sites

08 November 2013 / Be the first to comment

On Tuesday 5 November, City & Guilds surprised six students from South & City College Birmingham by transporting them from their classroom to two of the UK’s largest megaproject construction sites – Crossrail and The Leadenhall Building at 122 Leadenhall Street. The event was part of a series of ‘Open Doors’ experiences leading up to The Skills Show (www.theskillsshow.com), which takes place 14-16 November.

Onsite deep below London at Crossrail, three students met with Peter Leyton, Site Agent - C510 SCL Tunnels - Whitechapel, where they were briefed on the Crossrail project. They participated in a health and safety introduction before touring the new Crossrail tunnels at the Whitechapel site.

Above ground at The Leadenhall Building three students visited the Laing O’Rourke site where employees talked to them about their work experiences including their own apprenticeships and right through to their current management roles before giving them a tour of the site, including an external lift ride up the side of the nearly complete building. 

The final stop for the day was a visit to the viewing platform of another of London’s iconic megaprojects – The View from The Shard. 

The aim of the day was to illustrate to students how their current education could enable them to shape the world around us and play a key role in Europe’s future megaprojects. At each site the students were accompanied by experts and apprentices and found out more about the skills that will make them strong job candidates in the future; valuable advice as according to recent City & Guilds research almost 60% employers believe that their sector is facing a skills shortage. 

Luke Morton, 24, studying an Extended Diploma in Construction Level 3, said: ‘Today was such a surprise! It has been a great experience, getting out and seeing large construction projects. It has given me an insight to what my future options and prospects may be.’

In the build up to this year's Skills Show, City & Guilds is opening doors for young people to inspire them about their futures. It has teamed up with top employers and YouTube personalities (such as thatcher Joe Sugg) to highlight opportunities and explore different skills pathways.

Video: watch what happened on our London Open Doors day

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