From education to employment

Walsall Students complete Winvic Enrichment Programme

Winvic Construction Ltd, a leading main contractor that specialises in the design and delivery of private and public sector construction and civil engineering projects has given 16 Design, Surveying and Planning T-Level students from Walsall College hands on experience at three sites as part of the Winvic Enrichment Programme.

Over a three-week period, the students spent a total of six days across three projects. Kent St Baths is a 406 apartment build-to-rent scheme in the centre of Birmingham being delivered for Edmond De Rothchild and Stoford’s Redditch Gateway is an industrial project where two facilities are being constructed. West Midlands Interchange is a 734-acre site where civils and infrastructure works have recently commenced for Oxford Properties Group and Logistics Capital Partners.

The six days of on-site education not only upskilled and improved the confidence of students in further education, but it also contributes to the three projects’ social value commitments and Walsall College’s 35-hour enrichment activity aims. In total the sessions have provided 465 enrichment activity hours.

Sessions in the Winvic Enrichment Programme have been designed to showcase several elements of a construction project, but they can also be tailored to meet the needs of each cohort and their course subject. Sessions enjoyed by Walsall College students included digital engineering, earthworks, planning, quantity surveying, CV writing, mental health and fairness, inclusion and respect (FIR); they were given activities to complete, site tours, got hands on and up close with various construction processes and were encouraged to ask questions at any time.

The feedback received from the students and tutors was outstanding and a number of students contacted Winvic after the programme to express their thanks. One said: “I enjoyed meeting the QS and doing the task he provided us. I also enjoyed seeing how tasks are done and how knowledgeable the site team are and how they treat the site with respect and care.”

Another student emailed: “I feel like I have learnt a lot in the past 6 days we’ve had on the different sites. I liked being able to meet new people and get their advice and opinions on the different sectors of the industry. I’ve definitely taken in a lot of information from everyone there and I think the thing that will stick the most is how you can always work your way up in the industry as long as you’re willing to put in the time and effort in.”

“These 6 days gave me real experience and understanding of different processes in construction,” said another T-Level student. “Thank you to all the professionals who allocated time for us during their working day and showed us and told us about their tasks at construction sites, the work process, what difficulties they encountered, and what experience they had. It was very informative to listen to and ask each of the professionals questions.”

The Programme has led to more engagement in the coming weeks including the provision of on-site block placements for four students; the new HTQ Level 4 in Construction Management for England students will also be visiting Crown Place Birmingham – Crown Student Living’s Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) project comprising 814 beds – for a bespoke one day site visit. Furthermore, Winvic collaborated with Walsall College over the summer to provide Continued Professional Development (CPD) training to two tutors, on site at IM Properties’ Peddimore industrial project, supporting them to gain knowledge about the very latest construction technologies, materials and methods of construction.

Kayleigh Merritt, Winvic’s Talent Development Manager, commented:

“This is the fourth time we have delivered an Enrichment Programme to students, and it has been wonderful to hear how much the students enjoyed each session and how the experience opened their eyes to different roles. Because we have a large number of projects in and around Birmingham, the students were able to visit projects in our three key sectors – multi-room, industrial and civils and infrastructure – and that was an added bonus to be able to show them even more than one site could offer. It’s no small task to organise a six-day programme so I’d like to thank our site teams and the numerous subcontract partners who contributed to providing this engaging learning experience.”   

Martin Lake, Lecturer in Advanced Construction at Walsall College, said:

“We would like to thank Winvic’s talent and site teams for providing an excellent experience for our students and ourselves. A number of students have expressed that the induction placements provided an excellent insight into different sectors within the industry and have helped shape their future career choices.”

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