On the job training

City of Bath College students – studying Level 3 Construction Design and Management – have been given a taste of what it will be like to land their dream job of overseeing a construction project.

They’ve been given a behind-the-scenes tour of a £3 million pound retirement apartments scheme under construction in Monmouth Street.

Many of the 14 students hope to work in site management so they were keen to see what type of developments they could be working on in the future.

Construction Design and Management students visiting the St John’s Hospital development site in central Bath.
Construction Design and Management students visiting the St John’s Hospital development site in central Bath.

They donned their protective hats and high-visibility jackets to see first-hand how St. John’s Hospital – an historic Bath charity – is transforming its city centre almhouses.

Rosenberg House is being re-developed to include 15 state-of-the-art one-bedroomed apartments with a central atrium featuring a glass elevator and spiral staircase. There are up to 40 people working on the 52-week project.

The visit was arranged by Bray & Slaughter who have been working with City of Bath College to encourage more young people to go into construction.

The students asked lots of questions and learnt about a wide range on construction issues, such as the rising cost of materials, the importance of loft insulation and how the discovery of asbestos can cause unexpected delays.

Head of Engineering, Construction and Computing Daisy Walsh said the site visit had helped to increase the employability skills of students and strengthen the college’s industry links.

She said: “We are giving students real-life experience to increase their chances of gaining employment.

“Students will benefit from seeing and understanding the working environment. They see what they have learnt in the classroom being put into action.”

Students at St John's Hospital
Students at St John’s Hospital

Student James Condon, 17, said it was great to see what goes on at a high-profile city centre development.
He said: “It’s my first time on a site visit so it’s really interesting to see what happens behind the scenes.

“It’s given me a good idea of how things work in real life. I’m thinking about going into project management so it’s showed me what I can expect.”

The relationship between City of Bath College and Bray & Slaughter continues to strengthen as students have been invited to return to the site in the summer to see the completed project.

Students will also fill in a sample project manager application form before attending mock job interviews with bosses from the Bristol-based contractors.

Site Manager Matthew Quick said: “We like to help students by showing them around and telling them about the types of jobs that are available.

“There’s a shortage of skilled workers so who knows, the company could be hiring some of these students in the future.”