Three local schools have gone head to head to showcase their business and design skills in a construction challenge run by the Shipley-based housing group, Incommunities.
The Interbuild competition brought together Year 10 groups from Holy Family Catholic School, Carlton Bolling College and Oastlers School.
It kicked off late last year when the young teams were each given the brief to design and develop a new product to include a full business plan.
Last week they came together at Incommunities’ Construction Training Centre to present and build their prototypes, supported by some of the housing group’s trade professionals and apprentices.
The competition coincided with National Apprenticeship Week which aims to inspire a new generation of apprentices from schools.
On the day, the Holy Family team (from Keighley) built a range of wildlife ‘homes’ for birds, hedgehogs and insects using recycled materials. Their aim was to raise money from each sale towards Manorlands Hospice, in memory of the school’s student officer Sharon Hartley who sadly passed away last year.
Team member Ebony Farkas (15) said: “It’s been really challenging but exciting turning our designs into the final product in just a few hours.
“It’s extra special to be doing this to remember Mrs Hartley and some of the items will be displayed in school.
“The day’s really made me think about design and construction as a career option.”
The Carlton Bolling Team created a small scale eco-friendly log cabin complete with solar panels, rainwater collection system and ‘green’ roofs.
Qasim Mahmood was one of six students working on the submission and said: “It’s been great to take our ideas from the classroom to the construction stage.
“The competition has helped us learn new skills, develop our team work and it’s also opened my eyes to the different roles in construction!”
James Rogers from Oastlers School was part of a team of three ‘pitching’ their idea for an atmospheric monitoring system to measure air quality and emissions near their school.
James said: “Tackling air pollution and cutting emissions in the environment is really important.
“It’s been great to turn our ideas from in school into the final product. We’ve also been able to learn new skills from others on the day.”
To round off the day, each team made presentations to a judging panel which included senior figures from Incommunities, the Construction Industry Training Board and Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing.
Incommunities Assistant Chief Executive (Asset Management) Angela Perry, one of the panel members, said: “It’s been inspiring to see the students rise to the challenge set and work together to bring their ideas to life!
“The competition has proved a great way of developing their business skills and hopefully it’s given them a taste for the challenges faced in industry.
“You never know in a few years time we could see some of these young people taking their first steps into an apprenticeship or other rewarding business careers.”
At the end of a tough day and after a great deal of deliberation Holy Family were crowned the 2019 Interbuild winners.