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National Construction Week 2007 launches with Awards Ceremony for outstanding achievers

National Construction Week 2007 launched this week with a major awards ceremony for students that have excelled in the first wave of the Construction and the Built Environment GCSE.

National Construction Week, which is in its eleventh year, aims to highlight the career opportunities available to young people in the construction industry and will see over 150 events taking place across the UK between the 8-12 Oct.

Construction Minister, Stephen Timms MP joined ConstructionSkills Chairman Sir Michael Latham and Edexcel’s Commercial Director, Peter Miller at Monday’s event.

He spoke to the award winners about their achievements, as well the opportunities the construction industry has to offer.

The GCSE has been piloted at 100 schools across England and Wales. The qualification is one of a number of onscreen GCSEs that Edexcel is currently piloting.

In his speech, Stephen Timms MP praised NCW because he recognised “the chance for the construction industry to show off the great career opportunities it offers.”

In his closing remarks he noted that: “The industry relies on a whole range of professions and skills and we need high quality vocational education, alongside more traditional academic routes, for business to be successful, and everyone to achieve their aspirations.”

Sir Michael Latham, Chairman of ConstructionSkills, said: “It is extremely important to recognise the achievements of these young people who represent the future of UK construction. The GCSE is important because it is one of the first new qualifications in construction and the built environment for young people. It provides an introduction to the breadth and scope of the construction process and the career opportunities the industry can offer.”

Jerry Jarvis, Managing Director of Edexcel, said: “Edexcel's portfolio of qualifications is designed with industry specialists and sector skills councils to be fit for purpose and to upskill students to meet identified skills gaps in the countries they are offered in.  The GCSE, GCEs and BTEC qualifications in construction and the building industry are taken by growing numbers of students and we welcome the opportunity to celebrate achievements of students in this field.”

Awards were presented to the students for a series of categories including top exam results, best course work and outstanding achievement. Teachers from the schools where the Construction and the Built Environment GCSE has been piloted were also in attendance.

Other key events taking place during NCW include: Sustainable Design Challenge at Somerset College Art & Technology Genesis Centre, Heritage is our Future event at Woodchester Mansion, Stroud and the Build a Castle event at the Tower of London.

For more information about other events being held around the country as part of this year’s National Construction Week please visit www.ncw.org.uk.

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