Students get a glimpse behind the scenes at Sunderland’s old fire station

Students from Sunderland College with Keepmoat staff on-site at the fire station.
Students from Sunderland College with Keepmoat staff on-site at the fire station.
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Construction students have been given a glimpse of the future, thanks to regeneration specialist Keepmoat.

A group from Sunderland College were offered valuable on-site training during a visit to the old fire station in High Street West.

Training is a pivotal part of any job, but this is particularly true of construction.

Geoff Scott

Keepmoat is undertaking restoration works to transform the iconic building as part of a £3million project on behalf of Sunderland Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust in partnership with Sunderland City Council, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Higher National Certificate (HNC) construction students from the college were invited to the site to gain an insight into the work involved in the restoration, including what goes on behind the scenes before work starts.

They were introduced to the site team, including the Quantity Surveyor to develop an understanding of the finer detail for developer requirements while gaining insight into the various construction and restoration methods.

Keepmoat Employment and Skills Manager Geoff Scott said: “Training is a pivotal part of any job, but this is particularly true of construction.

“It’s only when you get on-site and see first-hand the steps which are taken to deliver major restoration or regeneration projects, that you gain a real understanding of the industry.

“Keepmoat is in an enviable position where we can introduce students to modern methods of construction and provide that vital on-site training to help entice more youngsters into this great field and that’s something we are passionate about.

“We have a responsibility to work with our partners and support local schools and colleges, to tackle the skills shortage our field is potentially facing. It was a pleasure to host the students and we hope to be working with them in the not too distant future.”

Sunderland College prinicapal Ellen Thinnesen added: “Our HNC Construction students were delighted to witness the major renovation works of such a historic building that has played a pivotal role in the safekeeping of the city over the years.

“They benefitted greatly from the visit and were given a clear insight into how they can apply the practical and theoretical skills they are learning through their HNC, once they secure a career in the construction industry. We work closely with all of our partners to ensure all our students access high-quality training and work experience.”