The International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) welcomed special visitors this week, with students from Boldon School and Sunderland College joining Esh Civils on site as part of its efforts to inspire a future generation of construction industry leaders.
The IAMP is one of the largest live schemes in the country, spanning 370-acres. A joint venture partnership between Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council, it is being delivered by developer HBD. Once complete, the IAMP is expected to create more than 7,000 new jobs.
The youngsters were able to view first-hand the work being undertaken as they were treated to a tour of the site, with opportunities to pause and observe key aspects of the build in progress.
12 students from Sunderland College, all studying for a BTEC Extended Level 3 in Engineering, gained insight into the process for construction and installation of civil engineering infrastructure, including highways, drainage and utilities.. Students were also encouraged to explore ecological issues on the project and learned about the flood alleviation measures which have been installed as part of the scheme.
Steve Marshall at Esh Civils, said: “Our Social Value team work hard year-round to organise these visits, which can only take place at key points within the construction programme. We’re very passionate about encouraging youngsters to consider a career within construction – there are so many options, but it’s often overlooked. It was fantastic to have the students on site with us and we look forward to welcoming more schools as the work progresses.”
Tom Wheldon of HBD said: “It’s great to be able to give young people a glimpse of what life is like on a live project. It’s something you can’t teach in a classroom and will hopefully inspire some of those visiting to consider a career in property development or construction. The IAMP has a 15-year development pipeline, so perhaps some of the college students will be visiting us again in the future as part of our team.”
Cllr Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “The IAMP is set to create thousands of jobs and students like these are going to form its future workforce. It is vital that we engage with them to ensure are they equipped with the skills, knowledge and training to unlock the full potential of these opportunities. Site visits such as this provide a valuable insight into the industries they could well be entering in years to come.”
Leader of Sunderland City Council Cllr Graeme Miller said: “We are delighted that Sunderland College and Boldon School took up the offer to visit the IAMP site to find out more about this fantastic project and the future opportunities this provides.
“Projects of this scale and complexity do not come along every day, so we wanted to involve and enthuse young people about the project and the career possibilities available to them.”