Ripley student lands £1,000 bursary for construction skills training

Bricklaying apprentice Max Bowler, 17, has been awarded a �1,000 bursary from construction company Bowmer + Kirkland for his success on a Derby College skills course which ran alongside his GCSE studies at John Flamsteed Community School.
Bricklaying apprentice Max Bowler, 17, has been awarded a �1,000 bursary from construction company Bowmer + Kirkland for his success on a Derby College skills course which ran alongside his GCSE studies at John Flamsteed Community School.

A former Ripley school student has been awarded a £1,000 bursary to help further his fledgling career in the construction industry.

Apprentice bricklayer Max Bowler, 17, was one of two Derby College students chosen to receive the award by construction firm Bowmer + Kirkland.

Max attended the Derby College Group’s Ilkeston Skills college for two years alongside his GCSE programme at John Flamsteed Community School and won its Pre-16 Skillbuild competition last summer.

He has since secured an apprenticeship with KR Brickwork in Belper, and said: “I owe the college so much in developing my brickwork skills so that I stood a better chance of getting an apprenticeship after leaving school.

“I am honoured to have been awarded this bursary and I plan to put it away and potentially use it for professional construction study in the future.”

Bowmer + Kirkland is marking the 10th anniversary of a £48million project to build the Roundhouse Professional and Technical Skills college in Pride Park — where Max now studies on day release from his employer.

The other beneficiary was Ben Shaw, 19, from Derby, who is on the electrical installation study programme.

John Kirkland, the company’s life president, said: “We set up the bursary soon after the Roundhouse officially opened to students in 2009 to support young people starting out in their career in construction.

“Both of these young men are evidently working hard to gain the qualifications and skills that are so badly needed to address skills gaps in the construction industry and I hope that the bursaries will inspire them to aim high.”

Eileen Swan, head of construction at the Derby College Group, added: “We are very grateful to Bowmer + Kirkland for supporting our construction apprentices and students with this annual bursary.

“We hope that these bursaries inspire Max and Ben to continue with their studies as they progress through their careers in the industry.”

The Derby College Group offers an extensive curriculum and industry links for building trades students, including bricklaying, carpentry, electrical, painting and decorating, and plumbing.

For more information, see derby-college.ac.uk.