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Trade taster sessions build pupils’ interests in construction careers

Trade taster sessions build pupils’ interests in construction careers

Pupils from two Cornwall schools have teamed up with the Construction Industry Training Board and local business RG Kellow Ltd to try their hand at a range of building trades.

RG Kellow Ltd, a construction contractor in Pool, Redruth, Cornwall, has been supported by CITB to offer two training workshops to 16 pupils from Pool Academy and Redruth School.

The year 10 and year 8 students visited RG Kellow Ltd’s workshop, where the team taught them skills in plastering, tiling, bricklaying and carpentry.

Each activity lasted around 35 minutes before all the students swapped to the next one and so on, until they were all completed. Staff from Cornwall College also gave a talk on how to get an apprenticeship, followed by a Who Wants to be a Millionaire-style quiz with the students. 

In a survey completed after the event, all the students reported they would now consider a career in construction.

One pupil said she was now considering applying for a carpentry apprenticeship when she leaves school.

“I thought that construction might be an area I was interested in and I also wanted to see whether it was an environment that would accept me as a girl,” she said.

“I felt like part of the group at all times and really enjoyed it.”

Nicky Hutchinson, Head of People, Culture & Happiness at RG Kellow Ltd, said:

“Like much of the construction sector, a big hindrance to our growth is a lack of available skills in the market. 

“We need to work harder as a sector to inspire the next generation of Trades People and we chuffed the students left the carousel feeling like that. 

“We believe that getting hands on is the best way to encourage more people to join the industry and develop a trade. I think our people also enjoyed teaching the students too – so it was a fun couple of days!”

Laurence Stone, Senior Customer Engagement Manager South West from CITB, said:

“CITB is proud to have supported RG Kellow in the delivery of construction taster sessions to school children across Cornwall. 

“It’s great to see a local company help inspire the next generation of construction employees and it is clear that the sessions had a huge impact on the children’s perception of and interest in a career in construction.”

Sarah Eyre, Business Development Manager for The Cornwall College Group, said:

“The College was absolutely thrilled to be invited by R G Kellow to present at their construction taster workshop.

“It was a fantastic opportunity to chat with students from both Pool Academy and Redruth School about the exciting and diverse career paths available in the construction industry.

“As the top apprenticeship provider in the region, we were delighted to share our knowledge and guidance about the many different ways that students can get involved and build a fulfilling career.” 

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