MKM Building Supplies Ltd, the UK’s largest independent builder’s merchant has joined forces with the John Whitgift Academy in Grimsby, to support the Academy’s new BTEC Level 2 Construction course launched earlier this year.
The new partnership was the idea of Nigel Jackson, a newly appointed governor at the Academy and former MKM Grimsby director, who recently retired following almost 50 years in the trade.
On his retirement, Nigel was keen to ensure that the specialist building skills he had learned throughout his career were passed onto the next generation.
The Academy added the construction course to its’ programme in September this year and it is already oversubscribed. It teaches students aged 14-16 a variety of building trade skills including; brick making, brick-laying, block-work, joinery, carpentry, painting, decorating and plastering. Once students complete the course they can then move onto a higher level of study or an industry apprenticeship.
MKM’s Grimsby branch is providing students with building materials, uniforms, signage and other resources for the course, as well as running tutorials in school. Outside the classroom, the MKM team will work with teachers to facilitate field trips and site visits within the construction environment, giving ‘real-life’ context to the students’ classroom learning.
Robert Spendlow, headteacher, John Whitgift Academy commented: “Education and industry working together can have such a positive impact on young people’s learning.
It is fantastic to have MKM on-board in our construction programme – they bring a raft of experience and specialist knowledge into lessons, not only helping to equip students with the practical skills they need but also giving them an understanding of what is expected in the world of work.”
Nigel Jackson, former director, MKM Grimsby commented: “Sustaining a skilled workforce is one of the biggest challenges to the building industry. As a business, we are keen to develop industry skills locally. We believe that by supporting young people early in their careers, and passing on expertise and knowledge we can help develop the next generation of Grimsby’s building trade.”