Testimonial: Melanie Blenkinship

Site Engineer, JN Bentley

JN Bentley have visited Constructionarium with the University of Leeds for several years and this summer I supported a team of students building the Milau Bridge project.  My role was to provide supervision and support the project manager on site, as well as to spot emerging talent amongst the students.  I was joined by a JN Bentley Apprentice Operative who got the opportunity to step up into a supervisory role on this project.

The weather conditions in Norfolk that week were absolutely horrendous – the rain was relentless and it was difficult to get around site without sinking in the mud.  This meant there wasn’t a single team that managed to finish their project by the end of the week, however, there were still valuable lessons to be learnt.  In our industry you often face challenges so the poor weather certainly gave everyone a realistic taste of what life on site could be like. 

The team really stepped up to the challenge, and we knew that the students who were able to cope with conditions this tough would be able to face almost anything. This led to the business offering summer placements to 11 out of the 18 students on my team at the end of the week.  The rain must have spurred everyone on as overall we offered summer placements to 26 out of the 54 students who attended.

Constructionarium is unique, there was nothing like it when I was at university and it provides a fantastic opportunity to put into practice what you are learning in the classroom.  It gives a taste of what life is like on site and can be a great way of encouraging women and people from other under-represented groups into the construction industry.

JN Bentley are now planning to come to Constructionarium with our own apprentices, this will be a safe way to allow them to step up into the roles that they currently support.  The benefit of Constructionarium is that it offers a bespoke service where you can choose the project and timeframe to best meet your needs.