Major Surrey company build interest in construction careers at Nescot

Construction professionals of the future were provided a chance to learn more about careers in the industry in an interactive day at Surrey’s Nescot College.

Representatives from Ringway Infrastructure Services, Surrey’s leading highway maintenance contractor, led the session at the further education college in Epsom.

Students from a range of courses had the chance to find out more about the new Construction Skills for Highway Maintenance courses being delivered by the college with Ringway and supply chain partner Eurovia Surfacing.

The day was supported by the Surrey Careers Hub, a Surrey County Council service which connects employers to training providers to ensure young people can take their next best step.

Slavina Kalendzhieva, Head of Foundation Learning at Nescot said:

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Ringway and Eurovia to deliver these courses which create lots of opportunities for our students. The courses offer clear pathways from education to vocational, employment and apprenticeship opportunities and will help students develop skillsets for next steps after college.

“The opportunity to meet with industry professionals has also given our students an insight into the varied opportunities available in the highway sector.”

Carolyn Jay, Community and Place Manager at Ringway said:

“We are really excited to be working with Nescot. The accredited construction curriculum courses offer masterclasses by Ringway and Eurovia. Students will have the opportunity to interview for a job or apprenticeship with Ringway, Eurovia and supply chain partners following course completion.

“The college has been so excellent and responsive to us being on campus to demonstrate to students the wide range of work opportunities in the highways industry which needs young people. We want to showcase how accessible it is to work in this sector.”

Students had the opportunity to try out specialised equipment to lay a paving slab. Others used electric hand tools including a fully electric steel saw used for cutting slabs and tarmac. Some explored the vehicles used, including an Accident and Emergency vehicle, a Roller and a Low Loader used for transporting highway kit.

Bricklaying student Jack who enjoyed exploring the Roller vehicle said:

“It’s been a fantastic experience finding out what is involved with working on the roads and the various equipment used. It is great that these courses are being offered, they sound very interesting and I think they will enhance my learning.”

Highways Maintenance courses at Nescot

The one-year Level 1 and Entry Level Construction Skills for Highway Maintenance courses develop skills in construction, employability and digital with a focus on highway maintenance.

They are designed to provide a pathway to the Ringway Highways Maintenance/Groundworks Apprenticeship, or similar roles with Eurovia and other supply chain partner.

Certified by the Gateway examining body, the Building and Construction specification is delivered with input from Ringway and Eurovia staff. It includes live briefs, industry projects, masterclasses and enrichment activities.

Students will have the opportunity to interview for a job or apprenticeship with Ringway, Eurovia and supply chain partners following course completion.

Ringway manage and maintain the largest portfolio of highways service contracts in the UK. This covers over 43,000km of strategic and local highway network on behalf of National Highways, Transport for London, and local authorities.

Student in high vis jacket sits on a construction vehicle, with a tutor on the ground advising him how to use it.

2024 Surrey Festival of Skills

Businesses and training providers across Surrey can now sign up to showcase their opportunities at the 2024 Festival of Skills.

The first ever Surrey Festival of Skills took place in November 2023 and left hundreds of young people fired up about their futures.

More than 1,300 people from schools and colleges across Surrey attended the free one-day event, engaging with 80 exhibitors, including Samsung, British Airways, Pfizer, Haleon, and BAE Systems.  

The event was organised and funded by Surrey County Council, with support from the Association of Learning Providers Surrey (ALPS) and Surrey Event Professionals.

Planning for the 2024 event is now underway with the festival set to return in the autumn. Businesses, training providers and educational settings who wish to attend can register their interest via https://surreyfestivalofskills.co.uk/

Man trying helmet on at Surrey Festival of Skills

The Festival of Skills is open to young people 14 to 18 who are in education in Surrey. 

Those attending access inspirational talks and interactive displays, while also learning about potential career opportunities.

Sectors represented included the creative arts, construction, cyber security, health and social care, technology, engineering, public sector, and hospitality.

Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council, described the 2023 event as “a big success”.

In opening the 2023 event, Cllr Oliver said: “We have a vibrant, thriving, and diverse economy in Surrey, which generates roughly £50 billion a year for the UK.  

“With a skilled workforce, high business success rate and enviable location, there is huge potential to grow the economy of Surrey sustainably in years to come.

Young people at Surrey Festival of skills

“The single most important component to achieving that growth is the individual contributions of our workforce. It’s their talent, their ideas, their passion which makes organisations thrive and prosper.  

“That is why the Festival of Skills is so important. Because it provides opportunities for our local young people to experience, to connect, to be inspired about their future.”

Star attractions on the day included a prototype supercar worth more than £2 million created by Guildford-based Gordon Murray Automotive and a robotic dog, which construction firm Balfour Beatty utilised on the M25 improvements and other major schemes.  

Matt Furniss, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport & Economic Growth, said: “The first-ever Festival of Skills was a day to remember for all involved – providing young people with the chance to rub shoulders with major employers and be inspired about their futures.

“Providing opportunities for employers to connect with the county’s future workforce is integral to our wider Skills agenda and achieving our mission to ensure No One is Left Behind.”

Man presenting at Surrey Festival of Skills