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Posted - 14th May 18

Local school visits construction site

Pupils from a secondary school in Andover have gained valuable insight to construction careers, following a visit to Larkhill Garrison.

A group of Harrow Way pupils in Yrs 9 and 10 (aged 14/15) visited us on Tuesday 1 May accompanied by teachers Kevin Peebles, Associate Senior Leader, and Karen McCullough, Assistant Year Leader.

The visit was organised by Allan Thomson, Chief Executive of Aspire Defence Limited (ADL), who is a governor at Harrow Way, and Paul Dempster, Managing Director Aspire Defence Capital Works (ADCW).  It was offered to students considering their options beyond GCSEs who might be interested in learning more about a career in the construction industry.

After a quick presentation at the ADCW Project Office to explain what Aspire Defence does, the group was taken to the vast Army Basing Programme technical build area at Purvis Lines, so they could get up close to the construction underway.

There, ADCW Section Manager Anna Taylor organised a ‘Q&A’ with groundworks and engineering sub-contractors, so the pupils could hear about what a job on a building site might involve day-to-day.  The students also learned about the technicalities of steel frame buildings, from precision foundation laying to different types of masonry work (see photo below)

Richard Tindal, Project Director Larkhill ADCW, then led a minibus tour of the Garrison, passing the Junior Ranks’ diner under construction and stopping off at the completed (unoccupied) Junior Ranks’ Single Living Accommodation (SLA).  The students were impressed by the standard of soldiers’ bedrooms and chatted to Section Manager Niels Andersen about where he has travelled in his career and the various construction projects he has overseen.  The bus returned to the ADCW Project Office just in time to see one of the first modules being craned in to Senior Ranks’ SLA, at the site of the new Triple Mess.

To close the visit, the pupils were shown around the Project Office by Paul Dempster to give them a feel for the working environment on site.  Several female ADCW staff were also on hand to talk about routes into construction because it is an industry where women have been traditionally underrepresented.

The pupils left with an Aspire Defence goody bag containing a scientific calculator, maths equipment and a hard-hat shaped ‘stress ball’ (handy for exam season!).  And they took away some interesting impressions too:

“There are a lot more jobs in construction than I realised.”

“Construction sites are a lot cleaner than I thought they would be.”

“It’s good that there are jobs for women in construction.”

Their teacher Kevin Peebles said it had been “one of the best organised visits” he had experienced, with “insight upon insight” to keep the children engaged throughout.  “They were really buzzing when they returned to school and I am sure the opportunities will have captured many imaginations.”

Photo :

Harrow Way Yr 9 & 10 pupils at the ADCW Project Office Larkhill with (far left) Allan Thomson, CE ADL and (far right) Richard Tindal, Project Director Larkhill, ADCW.  Teachers Karen McCullough and Kevin Peebles are pictured in the white hard hats.

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