Construction students from Seaham build a brighter future thanks to onsite training

Nov 3, 2019 | Local News

Construction students from Seaham are building a brighter future, thanks to an onsite teaching experience which has helped exam results soar.

A group of 28 students, from Seaham High School, visited the Byron Mews development in the town, which is part of the Durham Villages Regeneration Company (DVRC) portfolio.

A partnership between Durham County Council and Keepmoat Homes, DVRC is delivering new affordable housing and supporting local authority and community initiatives throughout the county.

The students enjoyed a tour of the development, talks from trade and construction staff and the opportunity to take part in some brick laying.

Lee Holtby, Head of Technology at the school, said:  “The site visit to Byron Mews, really helped to bring the theoretical side of the BTEC Construction and the build environment to life for the students. Consequently, this was reflected in the pupils’ exam results this year, with more than a 90% increase in those attaining a pass at Level 2.”

Following the exam successes, six of the students have enrolled at East Durham College to pursue construction and/or engineering qualifications.

Passing the BTEC construction and the built environment with merit, Travis Crowley aged 15, said: “I really enjoyed the construction site visit. Having the benefit of visualising answers and completing a worksheet onsite really helped train my brain for the exam.  Seeing and speaking to the construction workers has inspired me to pursue a construction career.”

Geoff Scott, Social and Economic Impact Manager with Keepmoat Homes in the North East, added:  “We are passionate about supporting the communities in which we work.  It is vital that through initiatives like DVRC and in particular this project, we are investing in tomorrow’s workforce, providing support, opportunities and training for the next generation of construction professionals.”

Byron Mews, where prices start form £138,995, is one of four lives sites being developed by DVRC.  The others include Coppice Heights, Dipton; The Fell, Chester-le-Street and Woodland Mews, Peterlee.

Since formation in 2001, DVRC has invested over £150 million, creating almost 2,000 homes – around 25% of them for shared ownership or affordable rent.  A unique profit-sharing arrangement has also provided funds in support of local authority initiatives and services.