London South East Colleges has once again teamed up with Crystal Palace Football Club – this time to give Selhurst Park stadium a fresh lick of paint before the new season kicks-off in August.

15 students from a range of different construction and service trade courses such as plumbing, carpentry and electrical installation took up the offer of a week's paid work experience at the club, which could lead to future full-time employment.

Eagles fans turning up for their first home Premiership match against Everton on Saturday 10 August will be dazzled with a sea of red and blue from the stands boosted with fresh paint on the steps, the gates, railings and walls around the ground.

This exciting initiative follows a number of successful apprenticeship programmes the College has been running with Crystal Palace Football Club - as well as a highly successful partnership with the Club’s Foundation Football Academy.

Nevs Valentine McFarlane, Recruitment Resourcer and Juliette Hanks, Work Experience and Employability Advisor at the College’s Bromley Campus have been instrumental in setting up this amazing opportunity for the students along with Nikki Gibbons, Support Liaison Officer at Crystal Palace FC. Together they hand-picked the students to do the work, sourced all of the equipment and materials needed for the job and devised a plan to complete the work on time.

Nikki said: “Through other partnership activities we have had with the College going back several years, they were ideally located and prepared to come and help us this summer. We know that London South East Colleges have a brilliant work experience department that are always keen to arrange meaningful work placements for their students. Already, the students have made an amazing start and we are all confident that the stadium will be glistening come the new season.

“The students are hardworking, resourceful and can see the bigger picture regarding what we hope to achieve on the project. It’s great to have them here.”

Electrical Installations level 2 student George Smith, 17, from Greenwich is a very ambitious and budding electrical installations engineer and keen to gain as much on-site working knowledge as possible during the project.

Taking a short, but much deserved break from his work, George said: I was very keen to take part in this project because I want to get as much site experience as possible. Painting and decorating can be very much a part of an electrician’s job when hiding electric cables within walls or encasements and it’s always good to add as many extra skills to your repertoire and cv as possible. We have all enjoyed the first week and are looking forward to standing back and admiring our work when it’s finished.”

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