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Portakabin project legacy welcomes students to York


Paul Sherlock, Joinery Manager (far left) and Mick Stone, Production Team Leader (far right) from Portakabin showed students from Kensington Aldridge Academy around the manufacturing facility in York which built their school. Left to right are Nada, Angelli, Romaysa, Seynab, Ahlam, Martha Julings – Careers Coordinator and Kit.

Students from Kensington Aldridge Academy recently visited the Portakabin manufacturing facility and International Head Office

Six Year 12 and 13 students were given an inside glimpse to careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics by design and engineering specialists.

Following the tragic events in June 2017, modular experts Portakabin were chosen to provide a new school for the pupils of Kensington Aldridge Academy, which is located at the base of Grenfell Tower. Working closely with the Education Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA) and Mace, engineers at Portakabin designed an interim six block building and built it in just nine weeks.

Since completing its largest ever emergency response project in September 2017, the Portakabin team pledged an important promise to the students to help them understand the science and technology behind the fastest school ever built. Six students with a keen interest in product design and engineering were invited to York to learn more about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or STEM subjects.

This included an introduction to the design and engineering team, product and project design, BIM, sustainability and Revit technology from the subject specialists. As well as presentations and live Q&As with some Portakabin apprentices and graduate trainees, the students were also taken on a tour of the Portakabin manufacturing facility, one of the largest modular sites in the country and shown around the latest example of modular design, Frederick House.

Martha Julings, Careers Coordinator at Kensington Aldridge Academy commented: “The students found the day incredibly useful, providing a fantastic insight into the construction industry and the world of work more generally. In particular, seeing first-hand the design process for their own school really helped bring the whole thing to life.”

Nick Griffin, Head of Regions at Portakabin arranged the visit with the school and was keen to introduce the students to the science of building: “It was fantastic to welcome pupils and teachers to our International Head Office. As well as a learning environment; the school we built offers routine, structure and a safe place for the students to develop.

“Delivered in time and to budget, these types of builds are what we do, day in, day out – the scale and speed of this (along with the tragic reason behind it) were the exceptional elements of the project. Hopefully this insight into the science of building could potentially help shape the students’ future vocation.”

Take a look behind the scenes of the fastest school ever built.

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