Southampton has a vision of itself as a city of opportunity where everyone can thrive. At the same time, its council is clear that this will only happen if the public and private sector work together to lay the foundations where jobs and opportunity can be created locally.
Morgan Sindall Construction has accepted this challenge and agreed a new five-year partnership with Redbridge Community School in Southampton. The partnership will see the company, one of the UK’s leading building contractors, support pupils with their learning, personal and academic development. As well as creating training opportunities within its own business, Morgan Sindall Construction will leverage its own supply chain and contacts in the industry to help local people get on the career ladder.
The agreement with Redbridge - a mixed secondary school in the west of the city and administered by Southampton City Council (SCC) and the Reach Cooperative Trust - signifies Morgan Sindall Construction’s deep commitment to improving educational offerings across the region. The partnership is inspired by a belief that offering secure foundations for children to build their futures is crucial and will help them overcome challenges, from skills shortages to low school retention rates.
The partnership is focused on elevating the curriculum and helping the school with the delivery of the City & Guilds Technical Award in Construction and the Built Environment. Students will experience hands-on activities, exposure and connection to the industry and guidance on subject choices and their relevance to specific functions. These learnings can then be applied when pupils are old enough to do on-site work placements, creating clear pathways to careers into construction.
To celebrate the partnership, members of the Morgan Sindall Construction team, Redbridge School and the wider community came together to celebrate the official opening yesterday, on the 15th March.
Clifford Kinch, area director of Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “This partnership demonstrates our deep commitment built off the back of our long-standing and future workload in the city for both SCC and Hampshire Fire and Rescue, which aims to enrich local communities by offering pupils the foundations needed to progress into the world of work.
“True regeneration builds from the ground up, and in a time where skills shortages is one of the major issues in our economy, we believe this project is taking a positive step in addressing these challenges. We’ve worked with a steering group of 15 preferred suppliers to bring this partnership to life and we’re excited about what we can bring into it moving forward, not least by utilising our supply chain family and own business to kick-start careers and employment opportunities.”
The agreement to work together is based around an agreed set of core values and expectations which define how Morgan Sindall Construction will engage with students – Talent, Respect, Reliability and Commitment.
Head of construction at Redbridge Community School, Chris Green, said: “I am delighted about our partnership with Morgan Sindall Construction. There is great potential in what we can achieve - effectively bridging the gap between education and the world of work is really exciting. We have created a model for how business and schools can work together to support, inspire and deliver for students. Based on core values, students are shown a pathway into employment and the industry gains enthusiastic, talented and committed individuals – it is win-win!”
Year 10 student, Harrison Page, added: “This will be a great learning opportunity for both myself and many other students. Meeting Cliff and Oli has inspired me even more to work in the construction industry - the opportunities blew my mind! I would love an apprenticeship with Morgan Sindall Construction when I leave school.”