Brecon Beacons College welcomed students from Ysgol Calon Cymru for their first taster day for construction.

Throughout the day, the year 10 students took part in brickwork and carpentry activities including learning the basics of how to lay bricks to making teapot stands. This was all done under the close guidance of brickwork lecturer Richard Jones who has years of experience as a previous bricklayer and a former student of the College, as well Paul Davies, carpentry lecturer.

The day was organised by Julie Sayce from Powys Construction Training Group whose aim is to provide health and safety training to companies in Powys. Julie came up with the idea for taster days to introduce local pupils to the industry.

Julie said: “When the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) who fund us realised that there was a skills gap and lack of interest by the younger generation, we knew we needed to do something about this problem.”

With the help of Jacky Jones from Careers Wales, they were able to liaise with the school and the College to set up the day.

The students were also able to take part in virtual reality sessions lead by Construction Wales Innovation (CWIC).

Julie Sparrow a construction ambassador based in the Business Department Unit at the College was there on the day to talk to students about career opportunities and what employers are looking for.

Ian Lumsdaine Director of Studies for Construction and the Built Environment at NPTC Group of Colleges said: “It’s vitally important that the construction industry is able to recruit, develop and retain talented staff if it is to address the skills shortage that employers report and to compete effectively with other sectors. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Powys Construction Training Group and Careers Wales with the aim of providing potential students with a first-hand opportunity to experience the crafts of bricklaying, carpentry and Joinery, and to learn about the many career routes that are available within the industry.

“We hope today will be the catalyst to inspire a new generation of talented young people into a dynamic and exciting industry.”

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