Fifteen students from Canterbury College enjoyed an interesting and informative day learning more about the manufacture of concrete and concrete products at Brett Group’s Cliffe site recently.
The students, all in the second year of a Level 3 BTEC in Construction and the Build Environment, were given a comprehensive tour of the site with detailed information about the processes carried out there and an opportunity to see each stage for themselves.
Three Brett Group businesses are based at the Cliffe site, providing a unique opportunity for the students to see a wide range of manufacturing processes in one place. Brett Aggregates has processing plants, aggregates storage facilities and a wharf at Cliffe, where, as a part of a joint venture with Britannia Aggregates, dredged aggregates are imported from licences around the UK;
Brett Concrete has a concrete batching plant at the site and Brett Landscaping and Building Products operates some of the largest block making production facilities in Europe there.
Canterbury College Lecturer, Mo Haghi, commented, “The students had a great day at the Cliffe site and found their visit extremely interesting and useful. They were encouraged to take notes and photos throughout the tour and to ask questions and, having never been to a batching plant before, it is amazing what they were able to learn. The Brett team were extremely knowledgeable and helpful and gave the students a huge amount of information about all the processes involved.
“We saw everything from how concrete is made from its base materials to the block manufacturing plant - the students really learned a lot. They got to see the computerised process control systems at Cliffe in action too, which all found very interesting.
“The students were also given an insight into the business, learning about the costs involved, expected return on investment and how often equipment has to be changed or updated,” Mo continues.
“By going out on site and actually seeing and feeling the materials and how they are made, the students are more likely to retain information than if they only learn the theory. I am pretty sure that at least three or four of the students have been inspired to follow a career in the concrete industry after their visit to the Cliffe site.”
Neil Frost, Site Manager at Brett Landscaping Ltd says, “We were pleased to welcome the group from Canterbury College and hope their visit helped them to understand the process from raw materials to saleable product. It is increasingly difficult to attract younger people into the building materials industry so we hope some will be encouraged to consider a career in our field.”
On their return to college some of the students took it upon themselves to write an article about the day for the Canterbury College Newsletter. Click here to read their article.