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Award-winning property developer, Crest Nicholson, has partnered with Redbridge Community School in Southampton to inspire young people to consider a career in construction and enhance their employability skills. Crest’s Centenary Quay development in Woolston is working alongside the school’s construction department to deliver classroom mentoring and site visits to Year 11 students.

Supported by Centenary Quay, the School’s CBacc award programme – which is run alongside the City and Guilds Level 1 Certificate in Basic Construction skills – helps prepare students for the working world. The programme includes carpentry, plumbing, plastering, bricklaying, tiling and levelling and encourages students to achieve the best possible grades in English and Maths to compliment the practical skills they learn. The programme evaluates spelling, communication, organisation and their ability to measure, estimate, scale and cost; teaching them the everyday skills they would be expected to carry out in a construction role. 

Those who achieve set standards across the three subjects, as well as a 95 per cent attendance to school, will be presented with the CBacc award at the end of the academic year by Centenary Quay mentors.

Cindy Coe, who manages the mentoring programme at Centenary Quay, said: “It’s really important that we continue to work closely with young people as they are the future ambassadors of the construction industry. Often students who don’t perform as well academically see construction as the easy option, but we need to dispel those myths and educate children around the importance of doing well in other subjects in order for them to secure a job in the future.

“We’re now in our second year of working with Redbridge Community School and it’s great to see the students’ grades in other subjects and their attitude towards education and construction improving.”

Chris Green, Head of Construction at Redbridge Community School, added: “Through our links with organisations such as Crest Nicholson, we are continually hearing how important it is for students to achieve the best grades they can in core subjects such as English and Maths, alongside essential ‘work skills’. For this reason, we developed the award with Crest; creating an opportunity for our students to work on their employability skills, recognise the need to work hard and improve their attendance.”

Centenary Quay also offers apprenticeship opportunities for young people entering the industry and currently has six apprentices on-site who work side-by-side with skilled tradesmen and women on the re-development in Woolston. Ahead of the Crest Nicholson-sponsored Woolston Christmas Festival on Saturday 14 December, the apprentices will also be involved in erecting the lights, Christmas tree and signage.