Construction students from South Devon College are putting their newly-learned skills to the test at the start of the ninth annual National Apprenticeship Week, by helping the self-builders from Broadhempston Community Land Trust.
The Trust was set up in 2014 to help local people in need of housing build affordable eco-homes. Currently, six detached homes are being built by local families.
Backing National Apprenticeship Week 2016, Teignbridge is supporting the work by providing essential welfare facilities, which enables students to be on site.
Teignbridge recognises self build can help meet affordable housing needs, boost the economy through creating construction jobs and support a more resilient supply of housing from a wider diversity of sources.
Self build officer Charles Acland is working closely with BCLT, providing a supportive role based on experience gained from 25 years working in the self build industry.
“This is a brilliant exchange, where the self-builders get practical help and the students get valuable work experience. The students really go that extra mile and I’d like to congratulate those involved for all their hard work,” said Jeremy Christophers, leader of Teignbridge District Council.
“It’s also a great opportunity for us to highlight and celebrate apprenticeships, helping young people realise their potential and rise to the top of their chosen career.”
Acland added:”The support from South Devon College has arrived at just the right time. Projects usually reach a tipping point during the construction stages where the light at the end of the tunnel emerges, boosting the moral of the self builders. The college students have certainly helped them reach that point.”
Dean Bowden, head of construction at South Devon College, said:
“Full-time learners and part-time apprenticeship students have been on site helping the self-builders since the beginning of December. Community projects like this support the work readiness of our full time students by providing invaluable on-site experience which supplements and enhances their training at College.
“Community projects also provide invaluable development opportunities for our students, as they enhance their employability skills which employers are looking for and provide meaningful and real life work experience to develop these skills in a practical and professional environment.
“Applying carpentry skills that have been learnt at College, for example, will give them an opportunity to put into practice the ability to install staircases and second fix joinery, which adds to their professional portfolio.”
It’s anticipated that students will be onsite putting their new building skills into practice until the project completes at the end of April.