Aston University Engineering Academy Sixth Form visit to Exchange Square Development site

54 Year 12 students from Aston University Engineering Academy visited Sir Robert McAlpine’s Exchange Square Development site in Birmingham to expand their knowledge of how an active site is managed.

On top of gaining a greater insight into the different phases of development during a project, supporting staff from Sir Robert McAlpine also explained how they reduce the Health and Saftey risks on a busy working site: insight that directly ties into the students' Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Engineering course.

Through our Higher Level and Degree Apprenticeship programme we aim to introduce young people to the breadth of available jobs in industry and ensure that they are aware that the apprenticeship work and learn route is a viable alternative to full time university and achieving a higher level qualification. It is important that students, and their teachers and parents, have a well-rounded view of all available routes into industry so that they are able to choose the best path for their individual needs and career development.

The application process for any higher level or degree apprenticeship programme is extremely competitive. For students who express an interest in our Higher Level and Degree Apprenticeship programme the Trust, alongside our industry partners, will offer a range of support and guidance on the recruitment process in order to best prepare the students in their applications. The support could include industry talks, site visits, employability skills, mock assessment centres, advice from current apprentices, work placements and sign posting to higher level and degree apprenticeship opportunities.

Deavon Sinclair, Schools and FE Coordinator said about the programme: "Whilst the programme is focussed on raising awareness of higher level and degree apprenticeships, the reality is we’re making the students aware of the pros and cons of this particular route, the industry and the roles they may wish to apply for. Students who then make an informed decision that this is the industry and pathway for them – being able to support them as they go through the journey is rewarding for me personally and for those that are ultimately successful, is an excellent outcome for industry."