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Cymmer pupils given insight into construction industry by 21st Century Schools contractor

The Council’s contractor for its £1.9m education investment in Cymmer Primary School has held a series of engagement events with local pupils about opportunities in the construction industry.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s huge £85m education investment in Rhondda and Tonyrefail schools, jointly funded by the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Education Programme, will soon see state-of-the-art facilities delivered in Tonyrefail, Porth, Cymmer, Tonypandy, Ferndale and Treorchy.

The £1.9m investment at Cymmer Primary School’s Key Stage Two block is seeing the Council’s contractor Knox & Wells Ltd deliver improvements to the late Victorian-era building, 1960s building and Multi Use Games Area.

External works include roof coverings and a new entrance, while internal works include layout changes to provide first-class teaching areas which future-proof the school and provide facilities that are fit for the 21st Century. They will include the latest ICT equipment, a state-of-the-art multi-purpose learning resource base and community room that will be available for community use, a multi-purpose hall and a commercial kitchen.

Works are currently progressing with installation of the Key Stage Two block roof, which will be followed by internal remodelling works to form new learning spaces within the building.

As works continue to progress well, Knox & Wells Ltd carried out a series of engagement sessions with pupils at Cymmer Primary School and Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhondda, where Key Stage Two pupils of Cymmer Primary School are temporarily located. The sessions took place on Wednesday, March 15, and Thursday, March 16, giving pupils a useful insight into the opportunities available in the construction industry.

The sessions involved discussion about possible careers, as well as building tetrahedron shapes in groups and the use of virtual reality goggles to demonstrate the use of Building Information Modelling.

Councillor Mark Norris, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, said: “The Council recognises the key role that an efficient Procurement process has in reflecting the Local Authority’s Corporate Plan and supporting the delivery of key services and priorities – as outlined in the Local Authority’s Procurement Strategy 2017-2020.

“Across all of our flagship schemes and programmes – including the joint £160m #RCTinvest and Welsh Government schools education investment which is the biggest of its kind in generations – the Council works closely with its contractors on not only the delivery of each project, but on maximising the wider community benefits that these large schemes have the potential to offer.

“Thanks to Knox & Wells Ltd which is delivering £1.9m school improvements locally, it was great to see pupils at Cymmer Primary School and Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhondda take this excellent opportunity to learn more about the opportunities that the construction industry offers. I’d like to thank the schools and the young people who took part, as well as the contractors for putting on these sessions, which were of great benefit to the pupils.”

Gareth Davies, Construction Director at Knox & Wells Ltd, added:

“We were very pleased that Rhondda Cynon Taf Council gave us the opportunity to engage with the local schools in Cymmer. As a local construction SME of long standing, a large part of our success is our skilled, local workforce and supply chain. We therefore take our responsibilities to the locality, and the sustainability of that skilled resource, very seriously.

“Construction can have a poor public perception, but in reality offers a varied and rewarding career to school leavers from a range of backgrounds and abilities. Our work with school pupils is therefore targeted at providing a positive image of a career in construction, to attract the future skilled craftspeople, designers and industry leaders.”

Posted on Wednesday 28th March 2018