We thank Alan Burgess, Manager for Construction at New City College (NCC) Havering Colleges for preparing, and letting us publish, this article.
At NCC Havering Colleges Rainham, our mission is to develop the next generation of true industry-ready tradespeople with high quality learning. This is being achieved through qualified lecturers, industry specialists and manufacturers all working together to support our students.
It is a very exciting time for us. Planned developments in the Thames Gateway area will see 25 years’ worth of investment in new homes and infrastructure and at the heart of this construction and new communities, our college will provide the people with the skills to support such development.
To this end, NCC Havering Colleges is investing £15 million in a modern Construction campus at Rainham which will bring new and revolutionary courses to meet the needs of the industry, including Drylining, Formwork and Digital Construction including the use of drone technology and BIM.
Currently we offer a wide range of Construction qualifications, from Level 1 to HNC programmes, and our aim is to develop the whole learner – not just the vocational skill. We take time to enhance our students’ employability by using initiatives such as role play with customers/clients, putting in place start of the day times that replicate the industry, we conduct a 5-point PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) assessment and give toolbox talks at the beginning of each day.
It is this work – and also our collaborative partnerships in industry which bring amazing work experience opportunities – that are making a real difference.
Having companies such as Big Wipes (who are providing hand sanitation for our bricklayers) become part of the students’ learning, represents a major positive change to the way that education is delivered and it is a huge step forwards in developing student awareness for the industry and their safety.
Jack Simmons, 16, is one of our new Level 1 Bricklayers at Rainham. Jack says that since he was 13 he has wanted to use his hands and apply himself in a trade. He said: “My first day has been so challenging and I never knew how hard this would be, but what a great day! I have been made to feel like an adult at work and not a kid in school. I have already learnt so much – 5 point PPE and the value of teamwork and working for each other rather than for yourself – even the manager sweeps up and mucks in!”
Paul Wakeling, Principal of the Havering Colleges and Group Deputy Principal of New City College, said: “This is a very exciting time for our staff and students at Rainham. We truly value the construction industry which is why we are investing heavily in the new campus at Rainham which will expand upon our current facility and bring many new and exciting courses to meet the future needs of the industry.
“Through the fantastic work that goes on at Rainham, we will train, educate and prepare people to the highest professional standards for work within the trades and to support the industry for the major developments of new communities and business parks that are being planned for this area.
“The connections that have been forged already with employers and manufacturers will continue to play a key role in the development process for our students.”