Forty-five Abingdon & Witney College Level 1 and Level 2 Carpentry students, based at our Witney campus, made the short journey to the Common Leys campus in Hailey last week.
They were there to get a closer look at the construction of the College’s new Livestock Technology Centre, a £1.7m hub that will house livestock pens, tractor equipment, and classrooms with state-of-the-art agricultural equipment.
Work began on 10 July 2018 and is due to complete in December this year, ready for use in January 2019, with company EG Carter & Co responsible for the building work.
They firmly believe in engaging with their clients, which in our case includes arranging visits for students to give them an insight into what skills are needed in this growing sector.
Gavin Carter, the Site Supervisor, is the fourth generation of his family to be involved in the industry after his great-grandfather Edward George Carter founded the business in 1945.
Gavin was on-hand to take the students through the various processes of the building work, including how the strip foundations were created oversized to take account of the ground conditions.
The visit included a tour of the new centre, where Gavin got students to answer questions on the initial briefing, as well as pointing out new standards in health and safety, which included fire prevention standards that have been adopted since the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Student Charlie Mann, 16, from Coombe near Woodstock is on the Level 1 course: “It’s been a great visit – seeing how you might work on site gives you an overview of the roles that you can move into in construction. After Christmas, we must choose a specialism, either Bench Joinery or Carpentry, and this has certainly helped make up my mind”.
The Centre has been designed by Robothams Architects, and this is the third time these companies have worked together with the College.
Young people from across Oxfordshire – keen to establish a career in agriculture – are set to benefit from the opening of a major new Agritech skills centre near Witney which, in-turn, could play a key role in growing the county’s economy.
The Agritech Innovation Skills Centre, being developed at the College’s Common Leys campus on the outskirts of Witney will provide a ‘highly-technical’ environment, supporting courses and research relating to livestock husbandry. The centre has been built to combine theory teaching spaces and a livestock area, capable of supporting the latest agricultural technology.
Gavin Cart, Charlie Mann & Gerry Kane