Local partnerships help York students build their future in construction

Students in York have been learning about careers in the construction industry this month, gaining valuable real-world experience of a wide range of different roles.

Year 11 students were given an opportunity to experience life as an apprentice at a range of local businesses across the city last week [18 January]. The construction sector is always popular and many of this year’s opportunities were provided by three construction companies, each delivering a significant project in the city.

Students got the opportunity to visit Caddick Construction, working on Passivhaus housing developments; John Sisk and Sons, working on the York Central project and Simpson of York, working on York Minster.

York teenagers have also been working with construction workers employed by community interest company Volunteer It Yourself (VIY), to breathe new life into grassroots music venues.

In November last year, a team made up of local tradespeople and students installed a new ramp at the Fulford Arms, making the venue more accessible for gig-goers with mobility issues, as well as building a sound booth to provide a safer experience for audiences and music tech teams.

This month has seen a second cohort of students team up with VIY to renovate the Vaults, on Nunnery Lane, gaining City and Guilds qualifications in carpentry, painting and decorating.

These projects have been part-funded by City of York Council through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

Cllr Pete Kilbane, the council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy and Transport, including skills, said:

“We’re delighted that partners from across the construction industry have offered these opportunities to the next generation, and I’d like to extend my thanks to all involved for taking the time to give our young people the chance to experience the world of construction first-hand.

“There really is no substitute for on-site experience and face-to-face mentorship; these schemes are helping the construction workers of tomorrow learn skills that go far beyond the classroom, inspiring them to pursue rewarding careers that will contribute to building our local economy for the future.

“With skills like these being ever more in-demand in the workforce, I’m confident that schemes like these will stand our young people in good stead as they embark on exciting and innovative career paths.”

Matt Mellor, Programme Manager for the North at Volunteer It Yourself, said: 

“It’s been great to see our VIY mission expand across Yorkshire, thanks to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund as well as cross-sector support from VIY partners including Barclaycard and Allianz. All working together to boost grassroots music and arts venues so desperately in need at the moment, whilst helping local young people in York to learn trade and employability skills with hands-on experience, gaining City & Guilds accreditations too.”

If you’re an employer who’d like to support young people into your organisation or industry, please contact the York Apprenticeship Hub on: