College construction students who are to be given real work experience on a County Durham building site got a glimpse of what their contribution will create.

The youngsters from East Durham College in Peterlee were invited to the Durham Villages Regeneration Company (DVRC) housing development in the town for a tour of the recently opened show home.

Established 18 years ago, to breathe new life into Durham communities through the provision of homes, jobs and training, DVRC has teamed up with the college to provide four of the students with practical experience on a building site. This will enhance their classroom based learning and make them better qualified when they enter the world of work.

Robert Hutchinson, Programme Area Leader for Construction at the college, said: “We are grateful for the work placement opportunities for our construction learners. This is an excellent chance for them to further develop the skills they’ve already learned in college and the experience of working with professionals from their trade will give them a real insight into what it will be like working in the industry once they have completed their courses.”

Durham County Council’s Economic Development Manager, Graham Wood, added: “It was fantastic to see the students visiting the latest show home and getting a real insight into what all the hard work on site can deliver.  We look forward to welcoming them with their tool kits to get some real practical experience of the building industry.”

Geoff Scott, Social and Economic Impact Manager with Keepmoat Homes, commented: “If we are to meet the growing demand for new homes, we need to ensure that there are young people with the right skills and enthusiasm for the building sector coming through.  One way we can do this is by working with local colleges and we are delighted that the students from East Durham are on board.”

DVRC is a partnership between Durham County Council and regeneration specialist, Keepmoat Homes. It has invested almost £200 million, creating more nearly 2,000 homes on 32 sites – 448 for affordable rent through local housing associations.  The 2,000th home is scheduled to be completed at Chester-le-Street, later this year.

And with those sold attracting an average price of around £105,000, DVRC has consistently delivered homes within the reach of local, young people. Over 80% of them so far sold have been bought by those living within 10 miles of the development and around 60% were first time buyers.

DVRC is building 83 two and three bedroomed family homes at Woodland Mews, just off Yoden Way, in Peterlee (SR8 5RJ), with other live developments at Chester-le-Street, Dipton, Seaham and Sherburn Hill.

*Picture caption: Pictured (L-R) are: Keepmoat Homes North East Managing Director, Ian Worgan; Land and Partnerships Director, Ian Prescott; construction students Connor Hutchinson; Kyle Cummings; Owen Dowson and Callum Marshall;  Keepmoat Economic Impact Manager, Geoff Scott and Durham County Council’s Economic Development Manager, Graham Wood.*