GMI Construction Group is providing its first T-Level placements – giving York teenagers Ollie Leg and Jack Thompson an opportunity to gain vital technical experience.
Working in conjunction with York College, the independent company is offering the two students a 45 day in-depth industry placement on a major development in the city.
The pair – who are taking a two-year T Level in Construction and the Built Environment as an alternative to A levels, apprenticeships and other 16 to 19-year-old courses, will be contributing to the construction of York’s new brain injury hospital on the site of the former Terry’s chocolate factory, the Chocolate Works.
T Level students spend 80% of their course in a school or college learning environment, gaining the skills that employers require, while spending the other 20% in a meaningful industry placement, where they can put these skills into action. Equivalent to three A-Levels, they are also awarded UCAS points in the same way as A Levels.
Lee Powell, Chief Executive Officer of GMI Construction Group, said: “This company is already strongly committed to showcasing many career opportunities within the industry through its provision of apprenticeships, work experience, plus its college and university work placements, so we are pleased to announce our first ever cohort of T Level students.
“If they prove a success, we intend to work with other colleges to encourage more T Level entrants across Yorkshire, the North West, the Midlands, and the North East.”
Claire Preston, GMI’s Head of Responsible Business, added: “Ollie and Jack have now completed their inductions and are gaining valuable experience onsite.
“This is their time to shine by demonstrating an aptitude and willingness to learn, which could, at the end of their course, result in the offer of employment.
“It’s an ideal way of attracting young people into the construction industry by allowing them to gain an overview of the opportunities available as well as the necessary technical skills. It also allows employers to get an early sight of potential new employees.
“T Levels are also a huge step forward as students are considered work ready after the end of their course compared to some apprenticeships, which fall short of full qualification as they have no experience on site.”
Ollie Leg, 17, from Fulford, York, said: “It’s just a great learning experience and allows you to put into practice, the skills you learn at college. It also gives you a great insight into the industry and what it’s all about.”
GMI Construction Group is the principal contractor to developer HBD, which is delivering the facility on behalf of the Disabilities Trust.
Scheduled for completion at the end of February, the team has commenced external brickwork, windows are being fitted and the roof sealed, whilst partitions are going up to create the internal layout. The hospital will provide 36 beds across four wards and four assessment flats, alongside courtyards and a therapeutic garden.