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Year 10 students see 'real world' construction for first time at Seddon Stoke site

Sapphire is a consortium made up of Your Housing Group, Eric Wright Group and Kajima Partnerships Limited, that has been chosen to deliver 390 extra care apartments for Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

The group appointed Seddon to transform the former Westcliffe Hospital site in Chell, which will see 140 apartments built for people aged 55 and over by 2016.

Local councillors joined three schools on tours of the site much anticipated development, with the youngsters receiving a talk from a current apprentice working on the scheme.

Paul Bowyer, curriculum leader for design and technology at Sandbach School said: “We brought a group of Year 10 pupils to the site as part of their BTEC Construction qualification.

“They are currently studying carpentry and joinery but many of them have expressed a desire to work in the construction industry on leaving school.

“This is the first experience they have had of construction ‘in the real world’ and they were all really enthusiastic about the trip.

“One of the main issues which the pupils often fail to realise is the diverse range of jobs available to them within the industry and the range of skills required.”

Seddon contracts manager Mike Whittington said: “The hospital site has stood empty for a number of years, and its regeneration along with the wider project has really captured the imagination of local residents.

“We were delighted to have pupils from three local schools taking a very keen interest about how we build our schemes, and talking to one of our apprentices about careers in construction.”

Sapphire’s Kevin Hawkins said: “By opening up the site for the weekend, we hope it will inspire individuals to take up construction as a career.

“Who knows, we may find a house builder of the future.”

Westcliffe Extra Care PFI

Contractor: Seddon

Client: Stoke-on-Trent City Council / Sapphire

Value: £21.6 million

Start: January 2014

Finish: December 2016

Location – Stoke-on-Trent

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