Portsmouth pupils learn the ropes in building site safety at city’s new UTC

Trafalgar students with BAM contractors Brett Younger, left, and Matt Crookes, right

Picture: Tom Cotterill

Trafalgar students with BAM contractors Brett Younger, left, and Matt Crookes, right Picture: Tom Cotterill

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CHILDREN were given an ‘exhilarating’ insight into the construction trade as part of a global safety campaign.

The firm building the city’s new engineering and manufacturing college yesterday invited 100 youngsters on to the site to show them what workers get up to.

Teenagers from neighbouring Trafalgar School and the toddlers at Apple Tree Day Nursery, both in London Road, Hilsea, slipped on hard hats and high visibility jackets for the day.

As well as being shown around parts of the University Technical College Portsmouth site, they had a chance to operate some of the building equipment – under strict supervision.

It was all part of the Worldwide Safety Day, which aims to highlight the dangers construction sites can pose.

Toren Phillips, 16, had a chance to ride on a cherry picker.

The Year 11 Trafalgar pupil, who has ambitions of becoming an aerospace engineer or air traffic controller, said: ‘It was an exhilarating experience.

‘This shows us and gives us an idea of what jobs we can go into. It’s opened my eyes.

‘There’s so much in construction, it’s not just about building, I could go into safety or into building works.’

Brett Younger is the senior site manager with BAM Construction UK Ltd and helped set up the event.

As well as promoting the vital safety aspects on building sites, Mr Younger said it was a perfect opportunity to showcase the rich diversity of trades in the industry.

He added: ‘It’s about showing the kids that construction sites can be a dangerous but also a fun place to work too.’

As part of the day, a number of firms assisting in the UTC were there to show off their skills to the children.

Matt Crookes, BAM project manager, said: ‘Safety is a massive part of what we do. Making sure that people go home safely is the most important thing.

‘So we want to get this message across.’

The UTC is due to be completed in July with the first intake of students set to join the college in September.

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