Construction Students Gain Placements at Motorway Services Development

(L-R) Student Mujtaba on his site placement earlier this year, with Raymond Johnson, site manager for Morgan Sindall Construction

CONSTRUCTION and Built Environment students from Leeds College of Building (LCB) have been perfecting their craft after gaining work experience placements at a new concept Motorway Service Area.

Leeds Skelton Lake Services, a £60m site under construction to the east of Leeds (Junction 45 of the M1), is being billed as a landmark development that will set a new standard for Motorway Service Areas in the UK and meet high environmental standards on sustainability. The project is being delivered by developer and operator of Motorway Service Areas, Extra MSA Group.

Living green roof
As part of the Aire Valley Green Infrastructure Network, the new services has a ‘living green roof,’ improved pathways linking Skelton Lake’s walking routes, cycle paths and nature trails, an RSPB visitor centre and viewing deck, a dog walking and picnic area, an electric vehicle charging station, and an outdoor seating terrace.

CGI image of the completed Skelton Lake Services scheme.

During the first phase of the development, 15 LCB students shadowed the Enabling Works Contractor, Henry Boot Construction Limited on site management, design, engineering, and quantity surveying.

Since January, the work-placement programme for all Trade and Level 3 Construction and Built Environment students has been overseen by second phase contractors, Morgan Sindall Construction. The scheme will run until the end of the academic year and has at least one student per week attending a work placement and two student groups site visits per month.

When the project concludes later this year, a total of 41 LCB students will have worked on site, with some potentially offered full apprenticeships by the construction partners, and 100 students will have attended sites visits throughout the development.

Derek Whitehead, LCB Principal

Derek Whitehead, Leeds College of Building Principal, said: “Projects such as Skelton Lake Services give our students remarkable insight into cutting-edge developments in the construction industry. Partnerships such as those with Henry Boot and Morgan Sindall are fantastic at maximising employment opportunities and valuable work experience. This industry collaboration is vital to address the skills needed for developments to happen quickly in the region and beyond.”

Dennis Enuson, Group Planning and Development Officer at Extra MSA Group said: “Over the course of construction, we’ve been working closely with our appointed Contractors, Consultants and Leeds City Council to ensure that we maximise the local work experience, apprenticeship and employment opportunities arising from this £60m investment in the Leeds City Region.

“We’re passionate about delivering local community benefits from this project and are delighted to have engaged such a large cohort of Leeds College of Building students to date, providing them with valuable opportunities to gain on-site experience and insights into the multitude of careers options within the construction industry.”

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