Tom’s inspired by iconic bridge project
A Halton student has been so inspired to pursue a career in construction following a visit to the Mersey Gateway bridge project, that he gave up his school holidays to gain work experience with Merseylink.
Tom Fairclough, 15, who attends The Bridge School in Runcorn, was one of 14 students who took part in a school visit to the project construction site at Wigg Island.
Along with fellow students he saw the piling work taking place on the south cofferdam first hand, met members of the construction team, and had a talk about the bridge construction from site agent George Houston.
The visit was organised by Merseylink as part of an ongoing programme of activity to engage with Halton schools and local community groups.
Enthused by the visit, Tom jumped at the chance to spend time on site with the construction consortium, swapping his February half-term holiday for a week’s work experience.
Tom’s week began with a health and safety induction. He was then given a project tour where he visited the construction sites at Wigg Island and Catalyst Trade Park, the trestle bridge, and the new Mersey Gateway visitor centre. He also spent time with the project team learning about health and safety, construction, traffic management, engineering and machinery.
Tom, who has always been keen on working in the construction industry, says he has been motivated to work harder at his studies so that he can aim for an apprenticeship in the future.
“I had a brilliant time with Merseylink, learning about how the new bridge is being built. It will benefit business owners in the local area because they will get new customers. I’ve really enjoyed my work experience and would love the opportunity to get a job working on the project,” he said.
George Houston, Merseylink’s site agent on the main bridge section, said: “Tom took a real interest in the work we are doing and was so enthusiastic and inquisitive, it was a pleasure to host him. It took me back to my youth when I started in the shipyard as an apprentice when I was not yet 16. I’ve worked my way up and saw the same spark in Tom.
“We’ve got a great employment skills plan at the Mersey Gateway Project. With such a positive attitude there is a real chance Tom – and others like him – could apply for an apprenticeship and develop a career in construction too.”