Construction investment helps B&FC students build the future

Blackpool and The Fylde College is investing almost £1m in cutting-edge learning experiences for construction students.

The college is upgrading its flexible workspaces to simulate industrial environments, and providing students with the latest tools and technology – including construction, design, surveying and business information modelling applications on state-of-the-art iPad Pros.

"The world of construction is changing fast - and it’s essential our students are on top of their game and fully conversant with the technology powering the next generation of construction projects," said Carl Shaw, B&FC’s head of construction.

"We’re working closely with industry to make sure that the learning experience provides students and graduates with the experience and technical skills to slot straight into the workforce."

B&FC’s rolling programme of investment ensures students have access to facilities and experiences equipping them with the skills for modern workplaces. In the past three years, more than £8m has been spent across the college’s five campuses to galvanise B&FC’s position in England’s top 3% of colleges for student achievement (Department for Education’s National Achievement Rate tables).

Construction is one of three T Levels being rolled out by the college this autumn.

Digital and Education T Levels will also be available from September 2020, with a further seven courses set for launch in September 2021.

Simon Hughes, B&FC’s vice principal – quality and curriculum, said T Levels were a milestone in recognising the importance of industrial experience in further education.

"T Levels provide students with a guaranteed minimum 315-hour (45-day) industry placement, where they can put lessons from learning environments into action.

"We’re really excited to be the first college in the North West to offer all three T Levels.

"B&FC has already carved an impressive reputation for working with businesses across Lancashire and beyond to address skills shortages.

"Through the experience and knowledge they provide to tomorrow’s leaders of enterprise, T Levels will strengthen further the county’s economy and help fuel sustainable success across many key industry sectors.

"It’s been great talking with ambitious young people keen to start on our T Level programmes in September to develop academically while focusing their efforts on rewarding careers."

B&FC has already piloted 45-day industry placements ahead of the T Levels launch.

Level 3 Construction and the Built Environment students have worked in quantity surveying, design, planning and site management roles across a range of local and national construction companies including McLaughlin & Harvey, developers of the forthcoming Blackpool Conference and Exhibition Centre.