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College ‘Teams’ up with construction giant

Students looking to build their own future will next week enjoy a day of work experience with a difference, thanks to one of the UK’s leading construction and development groups.



Students looking to build their own future will next week enjoy a day of work experience with a difference, thanks to one of the UK’s leading construction and development groups.

Staff from Bowmer + Kirkland will recreate a day in the life from their varied roles and bring it direct to the homes of bricklaying and joinery students from Bishop Auckland College. 

Unable to offer the usual face to face activities for students due to Covid restrictions, the firm, which has a regional office in Sunderland, is running a virtual work experience day via Microsoft Teams. 

The 50 students taking part, who are currently learning remotely, will be asked to undertake a variety of interactive tasks and watch videos featuring current and recently completed construction projects. 

They will also find out about a range of roles within the business, including health and safety, quantity surveying and procurement, design management and contract management, from five speakers. 

Headquartered in Derbyshire, the privately owned company has regional offices across England, in Scotland and in the USA. Current B + K projects in the North-East include the construction of the 14-storey Bank House office building in Newcastle and Sunderland’s new 190,000 sq ft City Hall (pictured). 

The firm recently picked up a number of accolades at the Constructing Excellence in the North East awards for the £44m Catalyst Building built for Newcastle University and the South Shields Transport Interchange built for Muse Developments. One Centre Square in Middlesbrough completed for Ashall Properties was also awarded the Best Commercial Office Building in the North East at the Local Authority Building Control Awards. 

City Hall Sunderland

As the college’s official employer and enterprise advisor, B + K offers a range of support including running sessions for students across different curriculum areas on subjects including communication skills, employability skills and labour market information. 

Michelle Andelin, Head of School (Construction & Motor Vehicle, ICT and Employability Skills) at Bishop Auckland College, said: “With few practical opportunities for work experience during the ongoing lockdown, we are extremely grateful to B + K’s North East team for taking the time to provide this insight into the many roles in their business. 

“I am sure our bricklaying and joinery students will gain a lot from tomorrow’s virtual work experience day, finding out about B + K’s recently completed and ongoing construction projects and what it is actually like working on them.” 

Hollie Statham, Design Manager at B + K, added: “It is so important for us to allow students the opportunity to gain insight into the construction industry and all of the opportunities it can offer. 

“By hosting our virtual work experience, the students will be able to develop a further understanding of what they can expect upon finishing their studies, and hopefully providing them with some meaningful employer engagement.”


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