The construction company behind several new schools in Bedfordshire is giving students of Barnfield College in Rotheram Avenue, Luton, a glimpse of life in the building industry.

Two students studying foundation degrees in Construction Management were given on-site experience with teams building projects at Shortstown Primary School and Central Bedfordshire UTC, thanks to the company’s links with CITBConstructionskills, the industry’s training organisation.

One student is Sam Phiri, 37, who is in the second year of his foundation course at Barnfield College and hopes to be a quantity surveyor following work experience with Willmott Dixon delivering a new primary school at Shortstown. As well as sitting in on meetings, Sam was able to accompany building manager Garry Acton on his regular site walks and spend time in the office with the site team.

Sam says: “It’s a really good way to learn. The site team are always happy to answer questions, especially when I walk round the job with Garry and he explains what’s happening and why decisions are made to do things a certain way.”

Willmott Dixon’s director of operations, Stewart Brundell, explained the programme of work experience to local students, “We are involved in a number of education projects in Bedfordshire, including the Bedford Academy, All Saints Academy, several primary schools and Central Bedfordshire UTC. We provide work experience for 14-16 year olds on all these projects, as well as get involved in careers advice and mock interviews. We also had a site visit by construction students from Bedford College as it is important that the industry has quality recruits coming through.”