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Innovative approach provides students with first-hand site experience

Some of the Covid 19 safety measures put in place by Wynne Construction which has kept the £20m Coleg Cambria Yale Campus re-development on track ion Wrexham

Construction students at Coleg Cambria are still gaining vital practical site experience, despite COVID-19 restrictions, thanks to an innovative approach from a North Wales contractor.

Wynne Construction, which has a long history of engaging with young people and supporting them into careers in the industry, is holding digital talks and livestreams from its projects in the region.

The first two sessions, delivered to 23 learners enrolled on the level 1 bricklaying construction course at the Deeside campus, focused on health and safety, which tied into their curriculum after they began studying the theory at the start of term.

The students watched a newly created site induction video, produced by Wynne Construction, and took part in an interactive Q+A about health and safety.

The lesson was delivered by Wynne’s Alison Hourihane, business and community development management, and Colin Proffit-Jones, HSEQ manager.

Wynne is now putting plans in place to livestream works from its schemes to allow those in the classroom a first-hand look at what happens on site.

The students will also hear valuable dos and don’ts and best practice to assist with their studies.

Ian Hogg, assistant principal – institute of technology (Deeside), said: “It was high on our agenda to ensure our learners could still access the important insight construction companies provide.

“The North Wales Construction Partnership and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) have worked hard alongside employers in North Wales to identify alternative ways of working.

“Fortunately, Wynne Construction is always proactive and were keen to introduce pilot lessons straight away.

“Alison progressed the idea of a remote lesson focusing on site induction using the  new video, as well as an interactive lesson.

“The students really enjoyed it and understand the importance of an employer willing to put the effort in and support the college in their education.”

Alison said: “Many first year students at college have not been on a construction site before and we would typically welcome them onto a project to gain direct experience.

“Our thought-process has been: how can we bring the practical learning to the classroom?

“We have adopted technology to improve our operations for many years, and COVID-19 has seen us accelerate some aspects, including community engagement, which means we were perfectly placed for this.

“The team is looking forward to the livestream elements to bring real-time footage to the students in a safe environment.”