DOZENS of pupils attended a site visit to Jersey’s largest residential project with the aim of inspiring the next generation of architects and engineers.
Year 10 pupils on Les Quennevais School’s Design, Engineer, Construct! course were yesterday shown round the Horizon development at the Waterfront by the Jersey Development Company and its joint-venture partner, Groupe Legendre.
The students – sponsored by local contractor ROK – were given an overview of the construction process and roles available within the industry, including an up-close look at cement pouring, various building works and apartments in different stages of completion.
The DEC! course seeks to develop the knowledge, employability, technical and business skills required for a professional career in architecture, design, engineering or construction.
Katie Ferreira, who is head of the programme at Les Quennevais School, said: ‘What I think is really fantastic and exciting about the course is that the students get to work with industry. So they get to learn first-hand from industry professionals about their job roles and see those job roles in real-life settings on these fantastic trips. The industry professionals also come into the classroom, so the course provides so many opportunities for the students.’
She added: ‘It makes the students think beyond school about what careers they might want to do in the future. For example, some students start the course thinking that they might want to go into architecture, and a lot of them still do, but because the course is so broad and allows them to learn about quantity surveying, facilities management, land surveying and lots of different areas of the built environment – we have students now saying those careers are something they are thinking about.’
Rob Mills, senior project manager for the JDC, said: ‘It is very exciting to have the DEC! students here – the next generation of quantity surveyors and structural engineers. It is great to have this facility now for the kids to come around, and to showcase what we are doing here and what they can achieve. You have everything here from pouring concrete, to doing the foundations – going down from the top of the building all the way through you can see all the various stages of the first-fix mechanical and electrical fittings, putting in the lights, through to painting etc.’
Bob Matthews, chief executive of ROK, added: ‘Construction is so bespoke and interesting and there are so many fields to it – this stigma of it being a low-paid and low-skilled job has gone.’