Construction is booming and Preston’s university is finding itself in demand from employers looking for courses for their workers.
Paul Watson, the academic lead for construction and civil engineering at UCLan, said the economy was experiencing a lift creating a demand for new blood in the sector.
He was speaking after students from a variety of sector courses went on site at one of the new construction projects at the university’s city centre base.
As part of UCLan’s “masterplan” Conlon are creating two new social spaces fro students, one at the Foster site and the other at the Greenbank and Harrington site. They will provide a place for staff and students to come together in a relaxed environment while incorporating areas for break out activities and informal spaces for social learning.
He said: “The students got to go on site for a real world experience related to their studies.” He said it brought home the practicalities of working on a construction site from safety procedures to the fact that work may sometimes have to stop for a variety of reasons including weather.
He said: “It was freezing on the day so they could not pour concrete for the piling. It was cold for me, so some of our international students really felt it. But it is all part of the experience of the real world.”
He said the courses ranging from civil engineering to building surveying and quantity surveying attract about 75 overseas students a year.
He said: “But huge numbers of students are on part-time courses sponsored by local employers. We are finding that the local economy in terms of construction is booming and that is bringing in lots more employers and their apprentices and workers as part time students.”
He added that Conlon and others now take part in such work experience sessions with students and it is included as part of the contract.