“Unique” collaboration offers East Yorkshire students hands-on construction industry experience

STUDENTS at Bishop Burton College are being given a “unique” chance to put their studies to test thanks to a new collaboration with construction firm Hobson & Porter.

Construction students at the East Yorkshire college worked with the Hull-based builder throughout the last academic year on the college’s new multi-million pound Agrii Crop Technology Centre.

The collaboration allows students to apply their learned skills on Hobson & Porter project sites and, following a successful first year, is set to be delivered again.

Dave Blades, business development director at Hobson & Porter, said: “We were delighted to be able to offer students at Bishop Burton College the chance to get hands on experience of working on real-life construction sites while they are learning the skills needed to work in the industry at the college.

“At Hobson & Porter we are very conscious of the need to offer future industry workers the chance to develop their experience while training and this collaboration is helping to do that. The benefits of this collaboration are already being seen at the college with some fantastic coursework being produced by the students during the last academic year.”

At each stage of the construction process, from concept to completion, students are able to visit a Hobson & Porter site to tie in with the curriculum that is being delivered at Bishop Burton College. The curriculum can also be tailored in such a way as to ensure there is a Hobson & Porter site at the desired stage of works.

As well as having the chance to work on the Agrii Crop Technology Centre, construction students at the college have visited a number of operational sites over the past year.

As part of the collaboration, Hobson & Porter also arranges for guest speakers from its supply chain partners to deliver talks to the students about relevant aspects of work that they are learning about and have experienced on construction sites.

Jeremy Hara, course manager for construction at Bishop Burton College, said: “Students were offered a unique experience at Bishop Burton last year, helping to play a key role in the construction of the new Agrii Crop Technology Centre. Working closely with Hobson & Porter, the College planned its course teaching to fit with the building schedule. Students were able to learn about key elements of a build, and then experience it first-hand on site.

“Students were given the opportunity to work alongside experienced tradesmen, getting involved in the build, helping to enrich their learning experience and apply theory to practical work. Students will also benefit this year, as they will also have the chance to work alongside Hobson & Porter on the new Campus at Riseholme.”

Hobson and Porter praised after nearly one million visits to Haltemprice Leisure Centre during £6m refurbishment

Hull construction company Hobson & Porter has been praised for its work to keep Haltemprice Leisure Centre open as it completed a £6m refurbishment at the site.

East Riding Council is spending the money to upgrade the centre, which has been re-launched as East Riding Leisure Haltemprice.

Since Hobson & Porter began work on the site, the centre has recorded a staggering 900,000 visits.

Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “I am delighted with the transformation of East Riding Leisure Haltemprice into a superb facility with state-of-the-art equipment, pool and a wonderful environment for local residents to benefit from.

“I would like to thank our contractors, Hobson & Porter, for a job well done, and look forward to the opening of the library and customer service centre in November, and full completion of the work in early 2015.”

The latest phase of improvements has seen the opening of a new Tone Zone, extended gym and the reopening of the swimming pool, which now features a moveable floor – one of only two of its type in Europe.

The developments included a new entrance, 60-seater café with outside eating area and a library.

Other improvements as part of the scheme include new offices, a doctor’s surgery, upgraded car park, refurbished 3G football pitches and an improved sports hall featuring new lighting, floor and ceiling.

With 80 tradesmen on site per day at the peak of the works, ensuring the facility remained operational produced a series of logistical challenges, all of which were overcome by Hobson & Porter’s team working closely with the council’s project manager Simon Spencer and senior assistant facility manager at the centre, Hugh Pidgeon.

Dave Blades, business development director at Hobson & Porter, said: “Keeping the leisure centre open while we carried out the extensive works provided many logistical challenges but was essential as East Riding Leisure Haltemprice is an extremely busy facility throughout the days and evenings.

“There were many different elements to this project and the team on site worked closely with East Riding of Yorkshire Council and management at the centre to ensure the impact on members and users of the facility was minimal.

“We are delighted to have now reached a stage where we are close to final handover and look forward to seeing the facility fully open and visitors enjoying the new environment.”

First brick marks start of new era for Lincolnshire’s Riseholme College

It is one of thousands of bricks to be laid as part of the country’s first new-build agricultural college in half a century.

That first brick, of what will be the new £13m Riseholme College, was laid by Jeanette Dawson OBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Bishop Burton College, and Dave Blades, Business Development Director at Hobson & Porter.

Riseholme College was recently taken over by Bishop Burton College and, with only short-term leases available on its existing site north of Lincoln, a deal was made with the county’s agricultural society to build a brand new college campus within the Lincolnshire Showground.

Jeanette Dawson OBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Bishop Burton College, said: “I would like to thank the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society and the whole county for the enthusiastic support they have given.

“I am really looking forward to seeing the building coming together over the next two years. We have a fantastic relationship with Hobson & Porter and we are looking forward to working with the team throughout the building process.

“We believe this is the first land-based college to be built in 50 or so years, which pays testament to our commitment and determination to support the industry in Lincolnshire and beyond.

“As well as state-of-the-art facilities, the new campus will allow for closer links with Lincolnshire’s thriving agricultural community, agri-business and agri-food industries.”

Bishop Burton’s Skills Funding Agency Capital Investment Fund bid will provide more than £6m of grant funding towards the total investment, which is expected to top £13m.

Dave Blades, Business Development Director at Hobson & Porter, said:“We are delighted to once again be working with Bishop Burton College to deliver what is going to be a fantastic new facility for Riseholme College and one that will benefit the entire region.

“Lincolnshire, and the Humber region in general, boasts a strong agricultural industry and ensuring there are facilities of the highest quality for future workforces to learn their trade is essential. The new campus will offer state-of-the-art teaching areas and equipment on a site that is at the heart of the county.

“It will house science labs, agriculture, engineering and arboriculture workshops, an animal management facility, a farm and halls of residence for students.”

The primary impact of the new campus project will be to sustain and grow land-based education in Lincolnshire, recognising the importance of associated industries to the local economy.

Bishop Burton College has a national reputation for quality and is the only College in the UK to hold Centre of Vocational Excellence status in both Agriculture and Equine.

The new facility will welcome its first intake of students in September 2015, and will be fully operational by 2016. The new campus is expected to engage more than 450 local businesses in skills training within two years.

The project will also increase the number of learners, to more than 800 students on campus by 2016. This will include new learning opportunities for local residents that are not currently in education, training or employment and will offer a number of new apprenticeship and trainee programmes to link learners into local industries.