Students get on-job training

From left, student Liam Measor, Anthony Wilson from FHM Plastering, student John Carr, Michael Francis from FHM Plastering and student John Williamson
From left, student Liam Measor, Anthony Wilson from FHM Plastering, student John Carr, Michael Francis from FHM Plastering and student John Williamson

THREE lucky students got the chance to gain some valuable work experience with a construction company.

A group of plastering students from East Durham College’s Technical Academy were invited to spend a few days with Frank Haslam Milan (FHM), which has an operation based in Peterlee.

As part of their work experience the students got to help out with the renovation work on The Westgrove Resource Centre in Seaham.

Rob Hutchinson, education manager at The Technical Academy, said: “This is a great opportunity for our students to gain some real work experience, working alongside professional plasterers.”

Anthony Wilson, of FHM, who worked onsite with the students, remarked: “The lads have been a real asset to work with and if we had the vacancies we would take them on without hesitation.”

Two of the students, John Williamson and John Carr, who are both 24, had previously been unemployed and joined academy through the college’s Routes to Work programme.

The programme is designed to help jobseekers secure employment by giving them the skills, knowledge and qualifications and it has already helped more than 100 local people into employment in east Durham.

Student Liam Measor, 16, from Peterlee, who is studying on a Level 1 plastering diploma at academy, said: “It’s been a great experience working with FHM, I really hope we get the chance to work with them again during our course.

“The academy is a great place to learn the trade. The staff here are really good and have loads of experience. I think going to the academy is definitely setting me up for a promising future in the plastering trade and they are currently advising me on how to start my own business after I qualify.”

Andy Cameron, contracts manager at FHM, added: “We are delighted to support the academy and to help ensure their students get real life work experience - hopefully making them more attractive to employers when they qualify.”

Derek Champley, the students’ plastering tutor, said: “I’ve seen great potential in these students, they have a great attitude and the quality of their work is tremendous – I had no hesitation in putting their names forward for the placement.”

The Technical Academy is run by East Durham College and is located in a 30,000 sq ft purpose-build facility on Peterlee’s South West Industrial Estate.

It offers a top quality training environment in a range of construction trades including plastering, tiling, gas, electrics and fitted interiors.

To find out more or enrol at The Technical Academy call (0191) 5185577 or check out www.thetechnicalacademy.co.uk. For the Routes to Work Programme call (0191) 5188390.