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National challenge sees youngsters visit construction academy

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A group of young people completing the national citizen service (NCS) programme in Redbridge got first-hand experience of the construction industry recently as they took a tour of The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Tunnelling and Underground Academy.

1 Ilford Yard

VolkerFitzpatrick, who built the academy, which opened in 2011, hosted the youngsters alongside academy staff as part of their summer NCS challenge. The group of 13 youngsters ranging from 15-17 years old toured the facility and received an overview of VolkerFitzpatrick and their Ilford Yard Crossrail site as well as learning about the Crossrail story. They were also given information on the different job roles within the construction industry and entry routes such as apprenticeships and placements.

The NCS programmes are a government back scheme open to year 11 and 12 students that helps them build skills for work, life and the transition to adulthood.

Whilst at the academy, the youngsters were required to pitch an idea for a social action project to a panel of judges in a ‘Dragons Den’ style event as part of their programme and compete for £80 funding to help them achieve their vision. The ‘Dragons’ including VolkerFitzpatrick’s workplace coordinator, Bobbette Watson and design assurance manager, Henna Qureshi heard some great ideas ranging from raising the profile of a local youth club, to saving ancient woodland and a recycling project which would use recyclable materials to create a huge piece of artwork.

Ilford Yard is also now a NCS ‘Professional Partner’. A professional partner is an organisation which opens its doors to young people so that they can visit businesses and see what a professional work place is like and what they do as an organisation.

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