Students offered a chance to learn from history

Two Northampton College students have picked up work experience duty on one of the town’s most exciting construction projects – Delapre Abbey. 

The abbey is undergoing a £6.3 million Heritage Lottery-funded restoration, which will transform it into a publicly treasure for the first time in its 900-year history.

Seventeen-year-olds, Geordie Butler and Kishan Patel, have both been studying Level 2 Electrical Installation at the college since September.

And as part of their course, they were given the opportunity to get some on-the-job experience under their belts, to help their future employment prospects.  Cllr Mary Markham, leader of Northampton Borough council which owns the building, said: “This kind of opportunity fits perfectly with our skills agenda.

“Through the Northampton Alive regeneration project, and the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone, we want to make sure there are plenty of opportunities for young people to enhance their skills.”

The building is being rewired throughout, presenting a fantastic opportunity for Geordie and Kishan to see how mains electricity is dealt with on such a complex project.

Geordie said: “The practical assignments we do in the workshop at college are great, but it’s even better to be able to see that work being carried out on-site.”

“I chose this line of work as I really enjoy the hands-on aspect at college,” added Kishan.

The pair will work at the site one day a week for a month, and site manager Richard Carlton, of specialist conservation contractors Woodhead Heritage construction firm Robert Woodhead, is sure they will benefit from the experience.

He said: “I’m very keen to help young people get some real-world experience. These lads are really keen, and if they pay attention over the next few weeks, they’ll go away with quite a bit of knowledge.”