Although the Covid pandemic has stopped many of our students going out into the workplace to complete work experience, some have been able to take part in virtual sessions with employers.
Six students on the Level 3 Engineering BTEC course were given the opportunity of a week's online work experience with Tideway West, the company which is working together with BAM Nuttall, Morgan Sindall and Balfour Beatty to deliver the £3.8billion Thames Tideway Tunnel.
The work placements involved students working from home on set projects and listening to talks by engineering professionals and guest speakers, including Christina Asproudi (Site Engineer), Tim Monckton (Design and Engineering Technical Director), Muhammad Farooq (Asset Protection Coordinator) and Tom Lane (Skills and Employment Manager).
The students, who study at our Ardleigh Green campus in Havering, also had a virtual 'walk through' session where they got to see what the tunnel looks like, before presenting their project ideas back to the guest speakers, who then chose a winning team.
The students were: Miles Hayward, Tremain Mitchell, Amel Hammond, Kevin Alles, Luke Curry and Abdullah Javaad.
Linda Hammond, New City College Work Experience and Industry Placement Team Leader, based at Havering, who organised the initiative, said: "We've had great feedback from the students who felt the week was a very positive experience. They represented themselves really well and they have been excellent ambassadors for the college."
In these exceptional circumstances, being in lockdown, the virtual placements offer a different type of learning and help students both academically and mentally. They are getting to meet new people in the industry, hear from professional industry speakers who have shared information about their career paths and the different Engineering roles available, and it is a chance for the students to communicate with each other, which is particularly good for their wellbeing.
"We hope that experiences like this will help shape the students' futures."