A laying the first brick ceremony at the construction site of Aspire Academy, East Hull, was held today.

Young people joined Sewell Group and Hull City Council to play their part in the building of the £3.2m Academy, being developed to cater for vulnerable pupils and those at risk of exclusion from school.

Councillor Rosie Nicola, Portfolio Holder for Learning & Skills, who laid a brick at the event said:

“It’s great to come here today and see the Academy in its first few weeks of construction and to know that, in just six months, we’ll be ready to open.”

“The Authority has a duty to ensure we’re giving young people the best possible start in life and the best opportunities; there is never a ‘one size fits all’ solution in education; Aspire Academy is an example of how the Council and its education partners are ensuring learning is tailored to suit the needs of each individual.”

Chris Mulqueen, the newly appointed Principal of Aspire Academy said:

“The building is going very well and the plans are progressing productively. We’re looking forward to moving into the Academy at the end of the year.”

“Today has been a positive occasion where students have got involved in the construction and gained real life experience.”

Michael Gray, aged 15, is currently taking part in a Catzero Programme. The ten week programme, funded by Sewell Group, aims to improve young people’s discipline, belief and confidence ready for the world of work. On laying his brick he said:

“It’s exciting to know that when the building is finished I’ll be able to say that I played a part in it and laid one of the bricks. We all wrote our names on a bottle cork and put it inside the brick we laid.”

“After I’ve finished school I’m hoping to get a bricklaying apprenticeship so it’s good that Sewell has invited us all onto the site to have a go.”

Derek Nickolds, Project Manager at Aspire Academy for Sewell Group said:

“We want to do more than just build a building here, we’re using this as an opportunity to give young people an experience and a taster of the world of work and potential career paths.”

“I’m a bricklayer by trade so it was good to go back to my roots and get my hands dirty on site with our guests today.”

“We’ll be continuing with the ground and first floor brickwork for the next 15 weeks and after that we can start fitting out the inside of the school.”

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