Local students receive a valuable insight into construction at Acton Gardens
The third annual Acton Gardens construction event was held last week on site at Countryside and L&Q’s £600m regeneration of the South Acton Estate, giving local schoolchildren an introduction into the construction industry.
Joined by Cllr Bassam Mahfouz, Ealing Council’s Cabinet Member for Decent Living Incomes, 60 students from Twyford Church of England High School, Ealing Alternative Provision and West Thames College were given a unique insight into the construction industry through several interactive workshops run by Countryside’s supply chain partners. The students, who all chose to attend the event due to their interest in the industry, had the opportunity to interact with experienced people from a variety of trades, including carpentry, brickwork, plumbing, engineering, electrical, RC Frame, drylining and architecture.
As Countryside’s apprenticeship scheme partners, Joe Brennan Training and Martyn Price MBE (who manages the OHOB construction training academy) introduced this pathway into the industry to the students, explaining the benefits of apprenticeships for young people and sharing practical advice for finding one.
The event also involved a construction tour of Acton Gardens, giving the students behind-the-scenes access to one of the largest regeneration schemes in west London, with more than 3,400 homes and community facilities being delivered across the 52-acre site. The students had the opportunity to see the full construction process, with the tour taking in Phase 8.2, which has just commenced construction, and Phase 6.2, which completed in autumn 2020 and comprises a doctor’s surgery, children’s nursery, and 160 new homes.
Daniel King, Managing Director, West London & Thames Valley, Countryside, said: “It is vital that young people are made aware of the rewarding career opportunities available in the construction industry, whether that’s as a trade, architect or engineer. Our annual Acton Gardens construction event plays a key role in inspiring the next generation into the sector, and so we were delighted to welcome so many enthused students to the event, getting a hands-on introduction into everything construction has to offer.”
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, Ealing Council’s cabinet member for decent living incomes, said: “Today has been an excellent opportunity for young people to try their hand at a range of construction skills and get to know various career pathways.
“An apprenticeship is one of the best ways to receive on the job training, get paid and it gives people the chance to know what’s it like to work on an actual building project.
“This is one of the key aims of Ealing Council’s Plan for Good Jobs – helping people to retrain and upskill and take up new opportunities with good employers. I’d like to thank Countryside and our partners for arranging this event as we look to build a better future for our young people.
“Acton is undergoing significant change as a fast-developing area in Ealing. With its developing partners Countryside and L&Q, this is one of the biggest local authority-led homebuilding programmes in London.”
Countryside was supported at the event by CTP Engineers, AQP Architects, Orchard Plumbing, Harvill Brickwork, Hanover Electrical, TC Carpentry, OHOB RC Frames and Stanmore Drylining.