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Student work placements backed to help ease skills crisis

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ROBERT Gordon University (RGU) and Ogilvie Construction have joined forces to offer students “valuable” paid employment opportunities.

Ogilvie is currently providing Patrycja Linka, a Stage 2 construction management student, with work experience relating to her studies.

Rob Leslie, construction management subject leader at RGU, is calling for more firms to follow suit to help ease the skills shortage issue facing the sector.

RGU already works with a variety of companies to provide students with a placement opportunity during their third year, which often leads to longer-term employment.

However, Mr Leslie wants companies to commit to taking on students at an earlier stage in their academic careers.

He explained, “The construction industry cannot sit back and wait for government initiatives to address the lack of skills it is facing. The industry must engage with universities to highlight the opportunities available to students and offering placements early in their course can provide the necessary balance between theory and practice which will result in graduates who can add value to a company immediately.”

Patrycja, who is working on a complex needs school project in Aberdeen added, “Everything I am learning on this placement is so inspiring to me. It is amazing that finally I can see how it is all getting done in practice, not only in books.”

Iain Loose, Ogilvie’s business development director added, “Contributing towards the development of a new generation of skilled workers is vital to tackling the skills shortage facing the industry at the moment.”

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