Bedford students star in national show

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Bedford College has been featured on regional television as having the answers to the national shortage of skills in the construction industry.

ITV filmed in the “real life” bricklaying workshop of the Cauldwell Street campus and interviewed apprentice Matthew Capener, 17, of Kempston.

Matthew works for Bloor Homes, with part-time student Aaron Dembicki, 17, as well as full-timers Dylan Bergeon-Ward, of Arlesey and Callum Baker-Thompson, both 16 appearing on the programme.

They were all pleased to hear that experienced bricklayers can earn £1,000 a week thanks to demands in the current building industry.

Bedford College’s construction training is about more than working “on the tools”, a spokesman explained.

Progression from Levels 2 and 3 in Brickwork can lead to qualifications in civil engineering and construction and careers as site or project managers.

Often companies will invest in on-going training of talented staff to ensure continuity of skills across all levels of their organisation and industry.

Bedford College’s head of construction, Dave Wilkins, said: “The college foresaw the construction skills shortage coming along several years ago and has been working with employers to have new talent ready and able.

“In addition the courses launched three years ago which now have nearly 50 students, some of them in their 20s and 30s , are making a career switch into the modern construction industry.”

Bedford College also offers a foundation degree in sustainable construction in conjunction with the University of Bedfordshire.

On this course, students can progress with the added benefit of contacts with a range of real employers and then a third and final degree year at university.

> Find out more about a career in construction by visiting bedford.ac.uk