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The Corporation

Posted: 05/12/23

Building new skills and foundations for university studies

Construction T Level students have built-up their careers knowledge during a visit to Sheffield Hallam University and won a practical building challenge to boot.

  • The winning team featured Martha Constantinou, Sophie Stevenson, Oliver Greenhalph and Paul Parker
  • After the masterclass, students got to work on their designs
  • Elements of the design before the building work
  • Students had to take snow load on the roof and seismic activity into account
  • Each group produced some interesting designs
  • Students presented their results to the university's Deputy Head of the Department of the Natural and Built Environment

Learners on the Construction Built Environment T Level programme learnt about how the T Level awards them UCAS points which they can use to consider university as the next step in their career journey.

The group met with the Principal Lecturer and Deputy Head of the Department of the Natural and Built Environment who delivered a construction masterclass. Students were issued with a project brief to design and build student accommodation, based on the university’s real plans to develop accommodation throughout 2024.

They worked in teams incorporating the different disciplines which they can study at university, such as architect, quantity surveyor, building surveyor, engineer, architect and construction manager. Their model buildings had to stand up to testing snow-load on the glass roof top as well as seismic activity.

West Notts students split into three teams with their scale-model build involving a review of the green tax materials, estimate of cost versus reality, affordability, value of asset, teamwork, timekeeping and structural testing.

The winning team featured Martha Constantinou, Sophie Stevenson, Oliver Greenhalph and Paul Parker.

Martha said: “I enjoyed working in a different environment and having industry professionals helping us.  Working to a timescale put pressure on us to get the task complete, so I took on a leadership role within the team and organised the project.

“The activity we did was realistic, and it enabled me to get more of an understanding on how the industry works. It was good to see female role models at Sheffield Hallam, which inspired us to set high goals for ourselves.”

The college’s employability and careers manager Maxine Buttery said: “The students gained so much from the visit. It helped them to consider their next careers steps and what continued higher level study would involve. They got a feel for the university campus and met with lecturers who shared their industry expertise.

“Everyone said it was a great day and that it opened their eyes to university options which they hadn’t previously considered.

“As a careers professional this experience helped to update my knowledge on the sector which prospective students and parents will benefit from at college open days."

Carpentry, joinery and professional studies teacher Jordan Harrison, who accompanied the students on the visit, said: “Some of the learners, who were previously anxious about going to university, have had a complete change of heart. These are the experiences that our students need to be successful in choosing a career pathway. “