EVERY Wednesday afternoon, 16-year-old Scott Mason takes a bus across the River Tyne from Ryton comprehensive in Gateshead to Newcastle College, where he is taking the Northern Council Further Education certificate in construction craft skills.
Scott enjoys his time in the workshop picking up joinery and plumbing skills. But his course also contains a surprising element: a multi-media project.
With the help of tutor John Booth (see below), his course group has produced a CD-Rom of information about careers in the construction industry, which can go into their records of achievement.
All written work is done on the computer but 80 per cent of the course is practical.
The multimedi project proved to be a highlight. One focus of the project was careers in demolition - a particular interest of Scott's. The "power", he says, is the attraction. "You can take a building down with drills, or even with a JCB, but explosives are just that bit more satisfying." But it's not just blowing things up that has convinced Scott construction is a good career. "There are highly skilled jobs and you can move into management. It's skills for life really."
A visit to a jobs and training exhibition in Gateshead told him that there are 5,000 vacancies in construction in the North East. Scott now plans to go for a CITB aptitude test and is considering applying for an apprenticeship.