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Altrad Belle opens its doors to Leek High School

Altrad Belle opens its doors to Leek High School

Altrad Belle opens its doors to Leek High School

CONSTRUCTION students from Leek High School got some hands-on experience when they toured the factory of Altrad Belle in Sheen last week.

A party of 11 teenagers who are studying for their BTEC in Construction enjoyed a day at the Staffordshire Moorlands factory and tested out some of the tools manufactured there and used in landscaping.

Products were demonstrated for them by Belle’s Research and Development Manager Paul Ryder and the students learned all about job opportunities at the factory in a presentation delivered by Engineering Manager Martin Hall and Service Manager Martin Burnett. Already this month, Altrad Belle has employed five new apprentices – two in business and three in engineering and many staff are ex students of Leek High School.

Among them is Beth Edwards, 18, from Ipstones who had only been in post for three days as a Business apprentice when she joined the students on their factory tour along with Leek High staff members Nick Garner, who teaches construction, and Jan Wheat, the school’s head of technology.

Callum Edwards, 15, said he had enjoyed the factory visit and has made up his mind to join his father in his landscaping business when he leaves school. Ashley Pickford, 15, said: “I found the tour really interesting and, as I’m hoping for a career in construction, I will be interested in applying for an apprenticeship at Altrad Belle when I leave school.”

The teenagers are making use of tools and equipment presented by Altrad Belle, including a mini mixer, plate compactor and block splitter, on their course at Leek High School. They are learning skills such as crazy paving, painting, plumbing and joinery. On last week’s factory tour they viewed the latest in equipment including plate compactors powered by electricity instead of the conventional petrol version.

Service Manager Martin Burnett, himself a former student of Leek High, said: “We believe these young people unlock the key to the future for our company. They are vital to the growth and development of the business and we must support their education. 

“It’s great to see them here today using the equipment, interested and enthusiastic. We like to support the school, teachers and students where possible and, in return, we hope we become a first choice for work experience, apprenticeships and, of course, careers as we have a wide range of opportunities all under one roof. ”