LIVE street lighting, an urban roundabout, drains and paving are just some of the features of a unique outdoor classroom which has been launched at NEW COLLEGE NOTTINGHAM (ncn).
A below-surface viewing gallery is another of the innovations at the new Civil Engineering Academy, which is located at ncn Basford Hall and will benefit students from Hucknall and Bulwell.
The first of its kind in the UK to provide a realistic working environment for street work operations and civil engineering works, it has been designed in consultation with industry experts to help with the sector’s training demands and aims to improve employability skills to enable trainees to progress in the industry.
The below-surface gallery provides a picture of underground hazards and aggregate layers and the roundabout gives trainees the ability to realistically replicate highways works in a protected environment.
Contractors will be able to see trainees honing their skills through carrying out on-site variations of the construction process in a safe and controlled way.
Andrew Pole (17), from Bulwell, said: “I enjoy the electrical side of construction so I’m very interested to use the below-surface viewing gallery as it’s a totally new way of learning.
“You can see how cables are laid underground and the installation of street lighting.
“The site looks exactly as it would in real life so I’ll be able to build my confidence and skills in a practical, realistic way with the support of a lecturer.”
And Tom Boot (18), from Hucknall, added: “It is going to help the area because there is a lot of unemployment around here. Now people will be able to get some experience which will hopefully lead them to getting a job.”
The academy has been designed to meet the needs of major regional projects, such as the Nottingham tram extension, widening of the A453, and the Chesterfield Northern Gateway. It offers a full range of civil engineering and site-specific qualifications, from NVQs in General Construction to management-level awards, including the SMST Certificate.
Shaun Hunt, ncn Director of Construction, Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, commented: “ncn has a proud history of delivering excellence in construction training and the new Civil Engineering Academy represents our next step forward. “
n OUR PHOTO shows (from left) Pre-apprentices Andrew Pole, Jayden Fletcher, Troy Winfield, Ryan Brown and Tom Boot at the academy