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Plumbing & Electrical Installation students visit prestigious housing development

Level 3 Plumbing and Electrical Installation students from our Maidstone Campus were invited by prestigious house building company Berkeley Homes to their Holborough Lakes development in Snodland, Kent. The aim of the visit was for students to experience life in construction first hand and to help promote real-life specialist occupations to our students.

On-site experience is a great opportunity for potential construction workers to get a taste of the industry. It can also offer a simple and cost-effective way for employers to find potential candidates.

Berkeley Homes is a premium homebuilding business consisting of six brands and working on over 90 sites. They have built over 19,000 homes in the last five years and have 2,500 direct employees and 12,500 staff working for sub-contractors. The opportunity for our students to get a behind-the-scenes tour of a company that has contributed £2.6bn to the UK GDP was too good an opportunity to miss!

The day was hosted by Project Manager Clive Hilton and Assistant Site Manager Barney Blackman, and Barney led the students on a tour of the Holborough Lakes luxury development providing an insight into what working within the housebuilding industry entails. The site has already completed a number of homes and continues to develop further phases of 2, 3 & 4 bedroomed apartments and houses. Our attending students are all currently working on a range of trade skills qualifications including plumbing and electrical installation – both of which are skills are regularly required by a construction company such as Berkeley Homes.

As well as a guided tour of the project, students took part in a full site induction and a skills competition. The plumbing students challenge was to mount and install a radiator and they were marked on measurement accuracy, speed and level. The Electrical Installation students had a wiring installation task and a trunking challenge against the clock!

Assistant Site Manager, Barney Blackman said "This is the first time we have done this and I think the opportunity to show young people our industry up close, particularly at the start of their careers is very valuable. The transition between College and starting work is a big one and we very much need to encourage new people to the industry especially due to the well-publicised national construction skills shortage we are currently facing.”

For more information on our Plumbing study programmes, click here, and our Electrical Installation study programmes, click here.