Get Into Construction – Week Three!
What a brilliant three weeks we have had on our Get Into Construction course! I am sitting here trying to get this written up and on the website before the end of the day, and I literally don’t know where to start!
Since the last update, the lads have completed their work experience, but before that they had one final training session – Manual Handling with a Difference! Rather than undergo the routine Manual Handling written test, the lads went over to Aspire Fitness in Canton, where Pete and Joe put them through their paces and taught them practical applications for learning how much can be lifted safely. As the lads soon came to realise, the amount you can lift has much more to do with how well you look after yourself, and how well you use the correct muscles, and not much at all to do with anything else. During the afternoon we also discovered that we had something of a talented lifter on our crew – he impressed the trainers so much that he has been offered free membership and training at the gym in exchange for voluntary work experience!
But the main focus of the last week has of course been the work experience project at Pentrebane Primary School. This was the part of the course that everyone was looking forward to the most – after a couple of weeks in the classroom, a real chance to get on with putting skills into practice. Over the previous two weeks the lads had split themselves into project teams to try and make best use of everyone’s abilities, with each group taking responsibility for a specific area of the playground. Materials had to be sourced, within budget; the play area had to be designed to make the most of the space; play equipment had to be built according to strict safety guidelines. And the whole thing had to be completed in five days.
Under the expert guidance of Site Manager Alyn, the playground began to take shape very quickly; and it was brilliant to see the way the trainees organised themselves, supporting each other with tasks, looking for things to do if they had a spare moment, and using their skills to come up with alternative solutions when, as on a real live site, things didn’t go quite to plan! Some of the team also discovered that they had talents in areas they had not foreseen, opening up a wider range of opportunities. Also as on a real site, the boys had to work in all weathers – not that this put them off in any way at all!
We finished the official part of the course today with a short ceremony where each of our young people had an opportunity to share their thoughts about the course, and also talk about the part they played in the project. Though there were some nervous faces, everyone did brilliantly and – as if I didn’t know already – this part of the day simply highlighted what an incredibly difficult task we will have on Monday, when we interview everyone for the available apprenticeships. However I am sure that even those who don’t get lucky this time, will find themselves hired in the near future (please do get in touch if you are looking for construction apprentices!)
Next week, I will add a picture post of some of the course highlights – in the meantime, I’ll leave you with some before and after shots of the playground. I’m no photographer, so apologies for the poor and wonky quality – but I think they show what you need to know, which is that our Get Into Construction crew has achieved a huge amount in a very short time. WELL DONE!