Sunderland College students are laying the foundations of a career at Sunderland’s new Wear Crossing.
The college has joined forces with Sunderland City Council and FVB, the joint venture between Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction which is building the bridge, to provide work placements across a range of areas.
Vice-principal Nigel Harrett said the college had been involved in the project from the off.
“We have had quite a lot of involvement with the council since the first concept,” he said.
“There is a huge amount of benefit to be had from students being on the site and putting the skills they have developed to practical use. It is a fantastic opportunity.
“When they are driving over the bridge in a few years’ time, they will remember their time on site and that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”
Preparing students for the world of work was a critical part of the college’s remit, said Mr Harrett.
It has joined forces with recruitment and training specialist Reed NCFE to help ensure students are ready for what the future holds in store.
Seventeen-year-old Chantelle Roberts has a clear idea of what working life will entail after her time on the site.
Chantelle, who is studying for A-levels in maths, physics, chemistry and fine art, has an interest in architecture and spent some time in the site office, as well as working with the surveyors.
“I looked through all the different plans and they went through all the roadworks, I helped with the GPS survey to see how level the road was – it needs a ‘peak’ so the water will run off,” she said.
“When I first came here, I did not know what I wanted to do, but now I know I want to be a part of this.”