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Mears and City College join forces to transform empty homes

Mears Group has joined forces with City College Brighton and Hove to deliver an industry unique scheme that gives students the opportunity of gaining real life experience in the repairs and maintenance industry.

The scheme has been created through a partnership involving Mears Group, City College and Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC) to tackle the issue many construction students face; a lack of hands on experience in a real work setting. Now in its fourth year, the current group of 12 students, who keep a blog of all their work completed with Mears, will bring an empty council house up to standard ready for a new tenant by Christmas. Another group will start work on a new property in the New Year completing this by the end of the Spring term.

Gary Lester, Managing Director, Mears said: "Partnerships like the one we have developed with BHCC and City College are essential to encourage new blood in to the industry. After only a few weeks the students on this course will have a better opportunity of establishing long careers in their chosen trades. This initiative will open up considerable opportunities for young people, help them understand the workplace and gain considerable experience as they move forward with their working lives."

The scheme combines the delivery of underpinning knowledge in the classroom with practical skills training delivered on site with Mears' skilled tradespeople. On successful completion of the scheme, the trainees will be better equipped to apply for jobs once qualified and also have the opportunity to apply for the Mears Apprenticeship Scheme - which sees between 10 and 20 apprentices recruited each September. So far over 50 local students have benefitted from the scheme and this number is set to grow.

City College Carpentry Tutor Paul Hopcroft said: "This project is invaluable to the students. They can follow it through from start to finish and see the end product. In my view this is one of the best learning tools the College has."
Cjay Lucas, one of the City College students, added: "We're gaining experience that only comes from working on site because in real conditions nothing is square or perfect, so it really adds to what we're learning in the workshops and classrooms at College."
For more information on courses at City College, call 01273 667759 or email



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