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Building career opportunities

09 December 2019

Students studying towards a qualification in design, engineering and construction will experience first-hand what a career in those industries might entail when they visit one of Jersey’s largest development sites this week.

The group of Le Rocquier students will visit the Ann Court site, which is being developed for Andium Homes by construction firm Camerons, as part of their GCSE in Design, Engineer, Construct – a qualification that has come about as the result of a partnership between the Government and the construction industry.

Students will survey the site’s surrounding buildings to understand some of the factors that the project’s architects would have had to consider when drawing designs, and they will apply this experience to their own project designs back at school.

Leading the tour of the site will be the project manager Matthew Poole, a Jerseyman who continued his higher-education qualifications with Camerons, who are part of Garenne Group – the industry sponsors for the DEC qualification at Le Rocquier. Other companies are supporting Haute Vallée and Les Quennevais in connecting classroom learning to real life for students studying DEC.

The Assistant Minister for Education, Deputy Jeremy Maçon, said: “Getting the students out to several local development sites is an important part of the course delivery model. This visit follows a recent trip to London where DEC students from Le Rocquier School met some of the city’s top building designers and engineers and learned about some of the latest pioneering technologies to revolutionise the industry. They visited iconic developments at Battersea Park and Olympic Park. For the students to link their classroom learning to real-life context is hugely enriching and will hopefully show them the opportunities available on-island.” 

National engineering company Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd and Jersey’s Garenne Group provide the industry funding and support for the DEC course at Le Rocquier School so that specialist professionals from each company regularly share their experience and skills with students in the classroom.

Marc Burton, the chief executive of Garenne Group, has been part of the DEC programme in Jersey since it was piloted at Le Rocquier School in September 2018. He said: “The STEM-based learning programme DEC is an exciting opportunity for young people to work with local experts and use industry software. In the space of 12 months we have firmly put construction on the curriculum, establishing a pathway from nursery through to getting a Master’s degree in construction through Highlands College.”

Dave Roworth, a director at Skills Jersey, said: “This type of course is one of the best ways to educate our young people because it’s connecting theory to real life. Not only that, but students can make a tangible connection between their learning in the classroom and developments in their Island, which many of them have already said has given them aspirations for a career in Jersey.” 

The DEC qualification was added to the list of approved GCSE qualifications last year, and is part of an education strategy, in collaboration with industry, to boost STEM skills in schools.​

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