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The Corporation

Posted: 28/07/11

Brickies go back to where it began

A team of Mansfield construction workers are plying their trade at the very place where they learned their skills.

That’s because the bricklayers working on a re-roofing scheme at West Nottinghamshire College are all ex-students.

Building contractors A.R.G. (Mansfield) Ltd are currently replacing the roof of the three-storey block at the Mansfield college’s Derby Road campus.

The work, which forms part of a planned maintenance programme, includes rebuilding the parapet walls around the rooftop – a task being performed by brickies Glen Smith, Chris Wilby, Adam Beaver and Marc Smith, who all left the college between 2006 and 2011.

Adam, 19, from Sutton-in-Ashfield, and Marc, 18, from Rainworth, have both secured a three-month placement with A.R.G. upon leaving college in June after gaining level 2 bricklaying diplomas.  They hope the industry experience leads to permanent employment with the company.

Meanwhile, Glen, 23, from Church Warsop, and Chris, 20, from Kirkby-in-Ashfield, joined in 2008 and 2009 respectively after achieving NVQ level 2 bricklaying qualifications.

Site foreman Jonathan Graham, 27, from Mansfield Woodhouse, is himself a former student, having studied NVQ level 3 joinery at the college between 2000 and 2003 while an apprentice at A.R.G.

A.R.G. (Mansfield) Ltd’s managing director, Allan Gregory, who also trained as a joiner at West Notts between 1968 and 1972, said: “We’ve enjoyed a proud history of working with the college since I founded the company 18 years ago, which has included taking on apprentices and ex-students as full-time employees.

“I wouldn’t be managing director of my own company if it wasn’t for the training I received at West Notts, and as a business that works closely with the college it’s our duty to assist wherever possible.

“We’re delighted to welcome Adam and Marc to the team so soon after they achieved their qualifications. What better way for them to put their skills into practice than by helping to lay 17,000 facing bricks?”

Tom Stevens, the college’s executive director of capital projects and estates, said: “I’m delighted that former students are not only working in the industries in which they were trained at college, but are also contributing towards the refurbishment and improvement of our buildings.”

The college and A.R.G. are both founder members of the North Nottinghamshire Construction Action Group of Employers (CAGE), which works with schools, colleges and employers to inspire young recruits into the construction industry.

A.R.G. recently completed an £860,000 extension and refurbishment at Tuxford Fire Station and has current contracts at the University of Derby, Grantham College, Nottingham City Hospital, the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham; Alexander House, Mansfield, and Friesland School, Sandiacre.


Caption:  Adam Beaver (front left) and Marc Smith (front right) put their bricklaying skills to the test, watched by fellow ex-West Notts College students (back, from left) site foreman Jonathan Graham and bricklayers Glen Smith and Chris Wilby.