28 June 2017

Students lay the foundation for success

The completion of a new sustainable construction course has cemented the success of a group of enterprising college students in Cornwall. 

This month saw the very first cohort to complete the HNC in Construction & the Built Environment at Cornwall College St Austell. The qualification, which is the only of its kind in the county, is ideal for those looking to pursue a career in sustainable construction, building surveying, building control, quantity surveying, civil engineering, structural engineering or construction management.

The students’ two years of hard work culminated in a final assignment; delivering a presentation to a panel of industry experts.

Midas Construction Ltd. worked closely with the College to ensure the content and delivery of the course is meeting the needs of industry. 

Pre-construction Manager for Midas Construction Martin Bailey said: “I was highly impressed by the knowledge of the students, the innovative solutions which they had developed and the professionalism of their presentations. They are clearly an extremely talented, skilled and well-trained taught cohort, with a great future ahead of them in the construction industry.”

The students were split into two groups and given a brief to design and cost out the construction of a warehouse that needed to meet certain criteria, the biggest being a need to obtain a status within assessment so it could obtain 25% funding. The challenge for the students was to create a sustainable solution within that design to facilitate the accreditation that they needed.

Course Manager Andy Price from Cornwall College said: “The presentations from the group were absolutely fantastic and demonstrated professionalism in their approach and display. They all had worked hard, not only on the presentations, but the assignments as well. The high quality standards dictated the show of excellence and should be attributed to them all. I am sure, speaking on behalf of all members of staff that we are proud of the end result and of course our leaners. I was fortunate to work with the learners on this group project work as the lead in giving advice and collective thoughts. They had researched information extensively and correlated to the subject areas from the past within their programme for the last two years, to which I commend the lecturers for their high standards of delivery, additionally the extensive support of the management lead. There were moments during the preparation for the presentation and assignment which duly tested the groups and individuals. The outcome demonstrated excellent communication skills and contingency in overcoming problems and deserves a ‘well done’.”

Delivered one day a week over a two year period, the HNC course has attracted a range of individuals, already employed in various aspects of the construction industry. Student Natalie Hann explains how being involved has benefitted her.

“The course has definitely given me the knowledge and skills that I set out to gain,” she said.

“I currently run a construction company called NBH Building & Construction Ltd. with my husband who has been in the industry for 30 years. My background is within commercial, but not within the construction sector, so I chose to do the course to get the background and a broader understanding of the industry that I needed. All the people on the course come from different roles; with some from a trade background, others are more office based, there are site managers and even some from architectural companies. It’s been great to hear the different perspectives of people doing the course and there have been some really interesting discussions. I’m really happy with what I got out of the course and pleased that I was able to do it in county.”    

The introduction of this versatile qualification, which gives students the opportunity to study a focussed selection of traditional and contemporary construction and civil engineering subjects, informed by the needs of industry and will directly benefit employers in the county. The range of contemporary vocational skills, including utilising the latest equipment and techniques for surveying, setting out, construction drawing and the sustainable use of building materials will only help to construction sector in the local area in the future. 

For more information on the range of courses available across The Cornwall College Group, please visit www.cornwall.ac.uk or call 0330 123 2523.


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