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Selecting projects and activities for a Construction industry placement

The Construction skill area will have 3 T Levels:

  • Design, surveying and planning for construction
  • Onsite construction
  • Building services engineering for construction

Within these, the specialisms that students can pursue will be:

  • Surveying and design for the construction and built environment
  • Civil engineering
  • Building services design
  • Hazardous materials analysis and surveying
  • Carpentry and joinery
  • Plastering
  • Bricklaying
  • Painting and decorating
  • Electrotechnical engineering
  • Electrical and electronic equipment engineering
  • Gas engineering
  • Heating engineering and ventilation
  • Plumbing and heating engineering
  • Protection systems engineering
  • Refrigeration engineering and air conditioning engineering

Construction working environments are incredibly diverse, with organisations of all sizes able to benefit from industry placements in the same way apprenticeships work in the construction industry.

Identifying placement projects

Look for projects and activities for placement students that:

  • line up with your future skills needs in terms of growing professions and hard to fill vacancies
  • will attract and challenge high-calibre students who are aiming for a career in construction
  • will demand specific technical skills from students on the different T Level courses
  • provide opportunities for students to make a meaningful contribution to live projects, but recognising that they are likely to be new to the world of work and so need to be involved in lower risk or less critical projects and processes
  • allow learning and contribution without being an added burden for their supervisors, or slowing down overall projects or business processes

We’ve described 3 example scenarios of projects and activities below. It is likely that the projects and activities listed will require that the student has support and supervision. We encourage you to think about placement opportunities that work for a student and your organisation.

You can use the Planning the content of an industry placement article to structure industry placement projects and activities to provide meaningful experience for the student and to deliver tangible benefits for your organisation.

Industry placement example scenarios

Contents

Sole trader or micro business
(onsite trade/building services engineer)

A small plumbing firm always has an apprentice to support the business. However, 1 day a week the apprentice is at college.

To have continuous support for the team, the plumbing firm arranges for a 2-day-a-week industry placement student to buddy with an apprentice on day one and then to provide cover, under supervision, on the day that the apprentice is at college.

Projects and activities:

  • Interpret plumbing system information from specifications and technical manuals
  • Update online customer maintenance documents and records
  • Calculate resource and component requirements for maintenance assignments
  • Replace and repair components in plumbing systems
  • With supervision, interact with different clients to obtain information about maintenance requirements

Civil engineering

A large construction company provides an industry placement in a block of 9 weeks.

The student works in the regional office initially to learn about a project, before observing a civil engineer, then moving to a site office to support civil engineers on a busy phase of a road project.

Projects and activities:

  • Conduct research into potential civil engineering solutions
  • Interpret information and data from secondary sources
  • Investigate the measurement standards, guides and practice required for civil engineering projects
  • Use software to analyse data and model information
  • Contribute to the development of civil engineering solutions by checking the accuracy of measurements

Bench joinery (off-site)

Students start with a 2-week block, understanding the workshop and work on site, before they move to a weekly day release model supporting the bench joiners in the workshop with weekly tasks.

Projects and activities:

  • Produce geometrical calculations relating to complex 3D shapes and produce drawings and sketches
  • Develop draft costings associated with activities and make recommendations for minimising waste
  • Mark out measurements onto timber-based products
  • Use woodworking machinery and equipment to produce complex timber-based components
  • Prepare components for assembly

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