Weston College seeks to inspire future construction workers at primary school taster day
PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 February 2020
Pupils from a Worle school spent a day of hard graft learning about the construction industry as part of a new outreach project.
Year two pupils from Mead Vale Primary School took part in taster sessions in brick laying, carpentry, and structural engineering at Weston College's South West Skills Campus, in Locking Road, on Friday.
The day is part of a new scheme the college hopes will get children thinking about jobs in skilled trades such as construction, as well as break down misconceptions about manual jobs.
School liaison officer Georgia Wilde said: "Even at age eight kids are starting to form opinions like brick laying is a job for boys.
"We hope these days will help challenge this misconception and encourage more girls to consider jobs in male-dominated industries like construction."
The scheme has been spearheaded by the colleges' head of faculty for technology, engineering and construction, Steve Caldwell, who came up with the idea after talking to a headteacher from Taunton who said there was 'no provision' for pupils interested in learning about trade skills in the area so decided to welcome the pupils to the college for the first taster day.
Mr Caldwell said: "It was such a satisfying day for us and the pupils, we thought this is something we have to do again."
"I still have a picture of a pupil from the first day we ran in a hard hat and high vis jacket grinning from ear to ear.
"I could tell how much that day opened her mind.
"It was a really powerful thing and something I believe the college helped to foster.
"The principle is really keen to make sure Weston College is at the forefront of education and has been really supportive of this initiative.
"The next step is working out how to roll the scheme out across Weston."
Weston College technician Tia Sparkes said: "The students are brilliant and they're really engaging with the activities."
Mead Vale teacher, Rachel Withers, added: "We did the same thing a couple of years ago and the children absolutely loved it.
"It ties in with their work in history, science and technology.
"It also helps them challenge gender stereotypes and is a great chance for them to try things they wouldn't normally do."