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Industry partnership gives students a start in engineering

Kier is leading a new partnership between three national businesses and Immingham Academy in Lincolnshire to help young people begin a career in engineering.

Trend Control Systems, Powell Systems and Kier have launched the partnership with the specialist engineering academy to encourage young people to learn more about the industry.

Senior representatives from each company recently visited the academy to give a career presentation where pupils were invited to apply for Trend Control System’s apprenticeship programme. The annual scheme trains young people to become building management system engineers – developing skills that are valued by employers across the UK.

The Academy, which opened in 2007, provides secondary education to over 750 pupils and moved into newly built premises in 2009. Employment opportunities in the local area are limited and the initiative, to help children to develop skilled careers with good prospects, has been welcomed by staff and pupils alike.

“The Academy is always looking at innovative ways to enhance the learning and experiences of its students,” said Paul Fairlie, assistant principal. “The career presentation attended by the sixth form engineering students gave an insight into a career that wouldn’t normally be considered, and raised their understanding of the breadth and depth of engineering.

“The students certainly enjoyed having other experts in for what was a very good presentation indeed.”

The partnership has been organised by Kier, the business responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the academy. Kier provides cleaning and caretaking services, as well as maintenance of the academy’s heating system – the control of which is carried out by a Trend Control Systems building management system, designed and installed by Powell Systems.

The system, which was installed in June 2012, enables school buildings to be kept at the correct temperature while reducing the academy’s energy bills by between 8% and 25%.

Adrian Lemarie, Kier services facilities management operations director, said: “We are pleased to be able to pass on some of our experience to help and inspire budding engineers. We work very closely with Trend Control Systems through Powell Systems, so we were aware of their apprenticeship programme and, as Immingham is an engineering academy, it made sense for us to try and bring both parties together and build closer links between the school and industry.”

Kier is committed to investing in learning and development and recently launched a new foundation degree programme with Sheffield Hallam University in order to equip students with specialist knowledge to help them build a future in the facilities management industry.

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