Building for future with city site visits

Robertson project manager David Coll, second left, talks over construction plans with visiting students. Picture: Greg Macvean
Robertson project manager David Coll, second left, talks over construction plans with visiting students. Picture: Greg Macvean
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SCOTLAND’S Year of Young People has much focus on what the future holds for the next generation and how they can get there.

So when Edinburgh College took 25 of its students out on location, the emphasis was very much on how to build for what comes next.

Robertson Group welcomed 25 students from a variety of disciplines to eight sites across the city.

The idea was to give an insight into the inner workings of areas including architecture, building services, surveying and construction management.

Placement sites included Edinburgh University’s Darwin Building – a major refurbishment project for which Robertson Central East is primary contractor – and Urban Union’s Pennywell project – one of the country’s largest housing-led regeneration projects.

Second-year HND Construction Management student Lewis McCann, 21, spent a week with the team at Edinburgh University’s new learning and teaching facility at Roxburgh Place, being shown the ropes of managing a live site. Lewis said: “The whole experience has helped put my studies into perspective. I really enjoyed the initial induction and walk-around the site as it gave me a feel for the wider project, and being given the chance to participate in meetings added an additional element to my learning, as it was the first opportunity I’ve had to do so.”

HND Building Surveying student Liam White said he enjoyed the variation offered, and said: “Spending time in both the main office with the project and site managers as well as out on site was a great way for me to engage in different aspects of the project. I wanted to see how they run huge projects on a day-to-day basis and in the correct and professional manner.”

Gemma Gourlay, Director of Social Sustainability for Robertson Group said: “We work on a diverse range of interesting projects, which in turn presents a great opportunity for us to engage with students studying a wide variety of subjects, helping them to shape their careers and learn from our specialists.

“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive – the students immediately felt part of their teams and commented on the usefulness of seeing how real-life challenges are addressed and how projects are progressed.”

Emma Lyon, built environment lecturer, Edinburgh College, said: “This kind of experience helps students understand what will be expected of them as professionals so they’re better prepared for the workplace. It also helps them figure out their career ambitions and understand what they need to do to realise them.”