Student Chris Glover is bridging the gap between college after a short work placement on the site of the New Wear Crossing led to a permanent part-time job.
Chris, 19, who is completing his final year of a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering at Sunderland College, has gained valuable experience working on the site of the new bridge – the biggest construction project underway in the North East.
It has been the most amazing experience. I never thought I would have this kind of experience on my CV while still studying at college.Chris Glover
In the spring of last year, he was one of a number of students invited to take part in a work experience programme on the site in Sunderland.
Chris impressed the team so much, he was invited back one day a week to gain a greater insight into the project, while still completing his college course.
Such was his enthusiasm, commitment and natural ability, he was then offered a part-time, paid job on the site during his final year of the two-year diploma.
“When I came here initially for three days on a work experience placement, I had no idea the New Wear Crossing project would become such an important part of my life,” said Chris, from Sunderland.
“At first I was coming to site one day a week to gain more experience, but then when the college holidays came around, I was offered a paid junior engineering role.
“That was a dream for me. It has been the most amazing experience. I never thought I would have this kind of experience on my CV while still studying at college.
“It has been a golden opportunity. My skills and knowledge have expanded massively, and my confidence has grown.
Chris is preparing to go to Newcastle University to study civil engineering: “I will be starting university in the autumn, but I hope to still come and work on the New Wear Crossing. I would like to see it through to completion,” he said.
Stephen McCaffrey, project director for developer FVB, said: “From the first day Chris came to site, he impressed us with his mature attitude, interest in the project and his eagerness to learn. He has the attributes that we look for in people, so we were very keen to have him working with us.”