Students get access to two major construction sites

10 March 2021

Students studying Level 3 Construction at Cheshire College - South & West are spoilt for choice as they are getting access to both the Chester Northgate and Ellesmere Port construction sites operated by VINCI Construction UK Limited.

The students course covers everything from surveying and design to material technology.  17 students across two Campuses are meeting online for conversations with the VINCI team. By April it’s hoped the students will be able to visit in person with the College virtually overlooking the construction site.

Silke Novak, HE Lecturer & FE Tutor said: “We have been going to the Chester Vinci site so far and are looking forward to getting to see the Ellesmere Port site too.  Vinci have been so supportive in letting us visit both remotely and distancing onsite when permitted.  We get to directly see developments evolve over time and speak to the different professions directly involved in the industry which is great. Personally, I feel the biggest benefit is the exposure to seeing new methods and technology in action on site.”

Student, Adam Reynolds, from Chester said: “During visits I’ve learnt about the logistics of construction, the complexities of running a building site and the lengths construction goes to make sure they have the right pieces from the right places all fitted into the time slots.” 

Adam is hoping to work as a CAD Technician or to become a Structural Engineer after his studies.

Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, Economy & Regeneration said: “In order to maximise value for money for local taxpayers, the Council now includes a ‘social value’ requirement on large contracts. For our current construction projects in Ellesmere Port and Chester for example, the contractor has been asked to ‘give something back’ to the local community and this has included skilled members from the VINCI team taking time out to work on much smaller projects in the community, or the sites offering learning opportunities for local students.
“Being able to give local young people first-hand access to live sites is a fantastic opportunity that doesn’t happen all the time.  During both projects in Chester and Ellesmere Port the VINCI team has been working with local schools and the college to provide an insight into the multitude of career opportunities in their industry. 
“Both sites have also welcomed Apprentices onsite and recently University students have also been working side by side with the VINCI team.”  
The Ellesmere Port hub building is due for completion at the end of 2021. The building provides the most cost-effective solution to the provision of council and partner services in the town when compared with the alternative of refurbishing the Civic Way offices which will be demolished as part of the wider masterplan proposals. This space will then be made available for new housing for families and young professionals to live in the town.

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