CONSTRUCTION students are putting their skills to good use by tackling crucial jobs at a Hucknall church as part of an innovative partnership scheme.
Apprentices who are enrolled on courses at New College Nottingham (ncn) took on maintenance tasks, such as laying new paving slabs, at St Peter and St Paul’s on Ruffs Drive before Christmas.
Now the scheme will continue throughout 2012, with jobs including plastering, painting and decorating on the agenda.
The idea is to give students practical experience that will hopefully help them gain jobs in the future.
John Stirland, a member of the church council, said: “We are not looking at this in terms of saving money. We are looking at it as giving youth a chance to put something back into the community and a chance to better themselves.”
The scheme came about through a discussion between Mr Stirland and Charlie Chambers, who works at ncn’s Basford Hall College and is the husband of another church-council member, Vivian Chambers.
Students taking part are on ncn’s pre-apprenticeship programme, which helps 16-to-19-year-olds find employment in the construction industry.
Skills are learned in purpose-built workshops but the scheme at St Peter and St Paul’s gives students real-work experience, which means dealing with on-the-job problems, bad weather and members of the public.
The team at the church is led by Patrick Walker, who is aiming to get every student involved into paid employment.
Mr Stirland added: “We would like to think it is win-win for everyone involved.”
Pre-apprentice, Connor Simons (17), of Basford Hall College, said: “I look forward to each day of the course because I know I’ll be learning something new and I’ll be that bit closer to finding a job.”
OUR PHOTO shows students and staff at work at St Peter and St Paul’s Church — DISPIC NHUD11-3398-1.