25 February 2015
A picture of 100th student lays foundations for a career at Worcester development

The developer of a major new care and retirement living scheme in Worcester is celebrating providing 100 youngsters with a taste of life working on a construction site.

Leading housing and care provider Sanctuary Group has joined forces with construction specialist Stepnell to provide hands-on work placements and curriculum activities for students at its Sanctuary Grove site in St John’s.

The Group is currently working with Stepnell on the new £22 million development, which is one of Sanctuary’s National Skills Academy for Construction sites. It will comprise a 60-bed care home, a 60-unit extra care scheme and a mix of retirement living apartments and bungalows, where residents will be able to access a variety of care and support as needed. The development also features a central hub providing a range of shared facilities for residents and the local community.

The 100 students have come from schools and colleges across the West Midlands including Heart of Worcestershire College, Bromsgrove School, Tudor Grange Academy, Dudley College and The Chase Malvern. Some of the placements also came from Worcester Job Centre Plus and Worcestershire County Council.

The 100th placement student is 17-year-old Callum Lovatt from Dudley College. He said: “I am really enjoying my week on-site at Sanctuary Grove. It’s been a good opportunity to get experience in the working world and for me to see what I might like to do in my future career. I’ve particularly enjoyed getting some more practical and hands-on experience as it’s not quite the same when you’re in a classroom.”

The students are given five days on site during their placement where they rotate work activities, including carpentry and plastering. On their final day, they are introduced to a variety of curriculum activities ranging from health and safety to career talks.

Amanda Gonsalves, Sanctuary’s Group director - HR, commented: “As with all of our developments, we are pleased to be able to provide employment and training opportunities at Sanctuary Grove for local people. These work placements are a valuable way to help young people gain an insight into the world of work and hands-on experience which will prove invaluable when applying for future roles in the construction industry.”

Karen Ryan, best practice manager at Stepnell, added: “These young people are the future of the construction industry and to be able to play a small part in preparing them for their future careers is crucial. It enables them to apply skills learnt in a controlled environment and is invaluable in helping them to achieve their goals.”

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