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Cardiff and Vale College help local schoolchildren build a future career with Design and Construction Challenge

The next generation of construction technicians have had their skills tested at a special Design and Construction Challenge held at Cardiff and Vale College.

Some 70 pupils from eight schools spanning Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan took part in the challenge which was held in specialist construction facilities at the College’s Barry Campus. Ysgol Gymraeg Plasmawr were winners in Day 1 of the challenge, while Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg won on Day 2.

The teams of Year 10 pupils were split into contractors with a Project Manager than given a plot in which they each had different tasks, from paving the floor through to designing and creating a tile mosaic and using painting and decorating techniques to create a framed nameplate and putting up fencing. The competition is designed to give the school pupils a taste of the various tasks involved in the construction industry and the show the value of vocational education.

Ysgol Gymraeg Plasmawr Design and Technology Teacher Daniel Harris said:

“The event was clearly well organised and flowed smoothly throughout the day. I found that the College staff were clear in their instructions towards the pupils, resulting in a great standard of work from each school.

“I would highly recommend the challenge to schools and teachers alike. It gave the pupils a chance to try their hand at a variety of skills which they would never get the opportunity otherwise – I would definitely recommend that Plasmawr continues taking part in the event for the coming years.”

Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg pupil Iestyn Escott said: “I had a brilliant day learning new skills and was amazed to see what we could achieve as a team in two hours!”

Team mate Sam Newton added: “It was very nice to do something outside of the usual curriculum.”

Bro Morgannwg Head of Year 10 Laura Downey said: “The Design and Construction Challenge was brilliant. It was very well organised from start to finish.

“The staff were all very helpful and worked wonderfully with the pupils. The tasks were challenging but achievable and all the activities were pitched at the right level.

“The pupils showed a sense of pride at the end when they could see what they had managed to achieve as a team in the ‘Big Build’. I would highly recommend the event to other schools that have pupils interested in design and construction and we would love to return as a school and compete next year.”