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    Bricklaying students build their skills at St. Modwen Homes

    20 February 2024

    Maisie Wood and Deniza Veisa, two Level 2 Bricklaying students from Burton and South Derbyshire College (BSDC), recently spent the week developing their hands-on skills onsite at St. Modwen Homes.

    The students, who undertake bricklaying courses at BSDC’s Stephen Burke Construction Academy, worked alongside builders on St, Modwen’s Branston Leas site to develop their skills in a real working environment during a work experience placement.

    Speaking about her journey in construction so far, Deniza said: “I chose bricklaying because I don’t enjoy sitting in a classroom all day. My dad’s a builder so I am following his path. I think my mum wanted me to study business but now she’s seen how well I’m getting on in this course, she’s happy that I chose it.”

    Meanwhile, fellow Bricklaying student, Maisie said: “For me, it was the first step that I wanted to go for. I wanted to do this course first and then on to an apprenticeship to build up my skills. Bricklaying is what I wanted to do – I’m more of a hands-on person so this just suits me.”

    All full-time courses at Burton and South Derbyshire College incorporate industry relevant work experience. By providing students with hands-on opportunities in real-world settings, students are equipped with valuable practical skills that are essential for success in their chosen fields.

    Speaking about the work experience placement onsite with St. Modwen Homes, Maisie said: “I’ve really enjoyed the work experience at St. Modwen Homes. They’ve given us quite a lot of advice on techniques and skills.” Deniza added: “The builders onsite have helped me with jointing as that’s not really my strongest suit. I think I’ve got a lot better during the placement.”

    The collaboration between BSDC and St. Modwen Homes demonstrates a commitment to nurturing talent and fostering the next generation of skilled professionals in the construction industry.

    James Hadley, Site Manager at St. Modwen Homes, knows first-hand the importance of work experience. James retrained at Burton and South Derbyshire College, undertaking an electrical course before progressing to a HNC Construction course. It was the College’s partnership with the award-winning homebuilder that led to him winning the St. Modwen Homes Student of the Year Award and subsequently securing a trainee position with the company. Now a site manager, James is keen to encourage new entrants into the construction industry.

    James said: “I think it’s so important that students get opportunities to gain experience. The students have been great – they’ve got stuck in and enjoyed what they’re doing. They’ve been active and involved, and they have been laying bricks as well as observing how things are done onsite.

    “The partnership between St. Modwen Homes and the College, including the learner of the year scheme, brings a lot of new apprentices to the company. It works well on both sides; for ourselves, it’s a good way of getting new staff and young apprentices coming through, and for the college, it’s good to send students out for work experience to gain hands-on skills in the workplace.”

    Both Maisie and Deniza have a clear idea of their next steps in the construction industry. Deniza said: “I eventually want to get into property management. I’ve got the opportunity to get an apprenticeship doing site management, and I’ve got work experience there soon so hopefully I will get it.” Maisie added: “My future plans are an apprenticeship and on to a bricklaying job. I think we definitely need to encourage more women into the industry. If you want to do it, go for it!”

    Contact Details

    Contact Details

    Burton and South Derbyshire College
    Tel: 01283 494400

    Town Centre Campus

    Burton Town Centre Campus, Lichfield Street, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire DE14 3RL

    Stephen Burke Construction Academy

    Construction Academy, 21 Tetron Point, William Nadin Way, Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE11 OBB