Students put skills to good use in renovation

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CONSTRUCTION students at Highbury College have been getting on-the-job experience by applying their skills to the real world while renovating a house in Fratton.

The three-bedroom house was bought by the city college at auction last September for the purpose of providing students studying carpentry, plastering, brickwork and other trades with the opportunity to gain valuable experience of working in a realistic environment.

Once renovated, the college hopes to sell or rent out the house, with the proceeds being used to fund other housing projects and similar opportunities for the students to work on.

Rob Higgins, head of department for construction and multi-crafts at the college, said: ‘Students are taken out of the workshops and classrooms and are put into a real working environment. This means they can put what they’ve learnt at college into practice and gain work experience to put on their CV.’

Multi-crafts student Ben Bednall, 18, said: ‘It’s a different kind of learning from our usual college day. It’s even more practical and more of the kind of thing we will be doing in our working life.’

The renovation has been supported by a number of local contractors and suppliers including Walker Electrical Services from Copnor, and Covers Timber and Builders Merchants.

It is due to be completed in three to four months.