All aboard the Skills Bus!

On Wednesday 28th November, Construction Youth Trust was delighted to be at St. John’s Catholic Comprehensive for the arrival of the Skills Bus! Joff Buels from Skills for Employment brought the mobile workshop to Gravesend in order to spend a day with twelve Year 10 Technology students working on a range of practical construction skills.

Throughout the day, the St John’s students had to work together to build a new picnic table for the school. Despite limited experience, the students quickly picked up measuring, sawing and drilling skills. In groups, they worked to create different sections of the table, before coming together for its final assembly. After some quick checks and a sand-down, the final product was complete. It turned out magnificently, and the school will now find a permanent home for it on its grounds.

It was fantastic to see the students engage so well with the project and enjoy it. One student, Nathan, said: “I loved it. Seeing the inside of the bus was crazy – it was much better than expected. I learned a lot, like different types of drilling. I study a multitasking course (in construction) so this has improved me 100%.”

Another student, Rita, said: “I’m sad the day is over because it was fun. Making the bench and cutting was very creative.” Rita also said that one thing she would change about the course would be to make it longer – “Make it a whole week!

All the students were delighted with what they had made, as were the school staff, especially the Head of Technology and the Headteacher.

Mr. Ambrose, Head of Technology, said: “Our students were totally engaged, and it was a highly rewarding experience for them. We would highly recommended it to other schools.”

Mr. Barron, Headteacher, said:

“Running projects like this is what we need to do more of to engage all students who may become disengaged around Year 10. This was a fantastic project to support our students, who had a wonderful time and a hands-on experience.”

A huge thank you to Joff and Skills for Employment for bringing this uniquely engaging scheme to St John’s. You can find out more about the educational provider by following this link.

We are also very grateful to Clarion Housing Group, whose funding made this event possible.