Hands-on learning for Bradford College’s construction students at Yorkshire Water’s historic building
A partnership with Yorkshire Water allowed students from Bradford College’s BSc Construction Management course to get hands-on experience working with a historic building and enhancing skills.
Yorkshire Water and Bradford College have been collaborating on a project as part of the renovation of redeveloping Esholt Hall, a Grade II listed building which Yorkshire Water is turning into a state-of-the-art venue for its new training academy.
The redevelopment of the hall into a Centre of Excellence will provide new classroom spaces which will provide colleagues and the wider water industry with access to innovative new facilities to receive training in Water, Wastewater, Health & Safety, Leadership & Management, Customer Experience and Systems & Technology.
Project Lead for the Esholt Hall development is Peter Coddington, who works on Yorkshire Water’s Land Strategy. At its heart, Yorkshire Water has committed to delivering to Yorkshire the best value possible from land and property within its stewardship. The Esholt Hall redevelopment project aims to maximise wherever possible the benefits the Hall delivers to the communities of Yorkshire.
With that in mind, Peter was keen to consider how students at Bradford College might benefit from the opportunity to undertake vocational training during the project, both during the renovation and in the future. Peter said: “Whilst our land and property’s primary purpose is for the wastewater functions that we carry out, we’re also keen to understand what else that holding can deliver for us and for the communities around us.”
BSc Construction course students at Bradford College have been helping to restore part of the building by building an area of decking. As part of their assessment, Construction Management students will be delivering presentations to propose sustainable design solutions.
Peter initially made contact with Bradford College through a connection with a member of the college’s board for higher education. He was put in touch with Greg O’Shea, head of construction and building department.
“Greg was very keen on the idea, and it was through Greg’s determination that we’ve made this happen. “One piece of advice to other business is don’t underestimate the energy required to make it happen. But the students who came to site really enjoyed it – because they were outside of the classroom environment, they really took to it.”
Peter reflected that although there’s been some immediate benefits to the business, by giving something back it will provide other advantages over a longer timeframe: “From my experience within Yorkshire Water, once my colleagues have learnt about the project, they either immediately want to get involved or really loved the idea and would support getting involved in future projects. It’s a really good engagement tool for your own colleagues.”
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TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW – PETER CODDINGTON, YORKSHIRE WATER
I’m Peter Coddington. I work in our land and property department for Yorkshire Water, and my role is to look at how we get best value from the land and property we own. Whilst its primary purpose is for the waste water functions that we carry out, it’s what else can that land and property holding deliver for us and for the communities around us.
The reason why I reached out to Bradford College was, there is an awful lot of work to be done now and going forward in the future and wanted to understand if Bradford College would benefit from the opportunity for vocational training. We’ve just finished refurbishing one of the outbuildings to create four training classroom spaces and there is an area at the back that was not going to be touched, fairly rough, and we decided it would be a great little project for Bradford College to actually bring some of their students out to, and build us an area of decking, and that’s the first project that we’ve engaged with, and that’s gone very well.
I got connected to Bradford College through a gentleman called Andrew Laver, who I think sits on a board that represents higher education with Bradford College. It was through Andrew that we met with Greg. Now Greg was very keen on the idea and it was through Greg’s determination that we’ve made this happen. What I found was the students who came to site really enjoyed it, and I think that was good to see, because they were outside of the classroom environment, they really took to it, so for me that was really pleasing and I think Greg would say he saw a side of these students that he wasn’t expecting and so I think he was equally pleased.
I think for me, the one piece of advice is don’t underestimate the energy required to make it happen.
I think it’s that view that you’re giving something back as much as it will benefit the business, from an awareness of the business. Certainly my experience within Yorkshire Water is my colleagues have, when they’ve learnt about the project, either immediately wanr to get involved or really loved the idea and would support getting involved in future projects, so it’s a really good engagement tool for your own colleagues, I’ve found.