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00  Month

Constructive partnership at local school

Created on 11/09/2021 @ 10:31


A construction academy at a local school has been deemed a huge success as it moves into its second year.

The SWG Construction Academy at Ysgol Llanfyllin is getting back underway after the summer break - with both staff and students eager to see what the year will bring.

The Academy was launched in September 2020 thanks to a unique partnership between the Welshpool-based company and the school, to help construction workers of the future.

The first academic year saw some students have hands-on experience working on SWG Group sites and the whole project has been deemed a huge success so far.

Robi Wood, director of learning for technology at Ysgol Llanfyllin, said: “Here at Ysgol Llanfyllin we are constantly looking for ways to provide new opportunities for our students.

“The SWG Construction Academy has been a completely different approach to the curriculum, traditionally the teacher leads but in the Academy the teacher facilitates, and the knowledge and industry experience is coming from SWG.

“There is a buzz about the Academy. The link with the company means a lot to the students and parents, the way it is backed by a professional company means it is a career progression opportunity rather than just doing a GCSE.

“It has worked tremendously, the students have responded positively and they have built a rapport with the SWG experts in each lesson.”

The students studying for a GCSE in Construction and the Built Environment received regular tuition from SWG experts in their first year to gain knowledge and practical skills which could lead to a career in construction.

When students were initially offered their year nine options, around 12 people were interested in this GCSE course. But after the SWG Group Academy was set up and Jacqui Gough delivered an assembly to talk about how it would work, 23 people wanted to study it. 

Jacqui said: “We are all so pleased the SWG Construction Academy and the partnership with Ysgol Llanfyllin is going well and are enjoyed seeing the growth in the students after the first year.

“They have impressed us with their positive can-do attitudes and our workforce has also enjoyed turning their hands to teaching and sharing their knowledge with the workforce of the future.

“Our staff and company are really benefiting from the partnership as well as the students.

“We are now excited to see what the second year has in store for them and the new faces who’ll be starting their first year this month.”

The government lockdown presented some issues but none that could not be overcome. A number of lessons were taught online with SWG experts running sessions on important subjects like risk assessment, recognising hazards and site security.

They also gave advice on writing CVs and interviewing. This session proved so beneficial in preparing the construction students for work that the school is now looking for other innovative companies like SWG Group to set up a partnership and offer this industry insight in other subjects.

A lucky few students, who were chosen after a CV and interview process, benefited from working on site with our carpenters, electricians, ground workers and health and safety manager too.

Robi added: “You can see the difference in the lads who did the work experience placements.

“Their approach to it all now is a little bit different, they are not just listening, they are trying to understand because they have been on site and know the importance of what they’re doing.”

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