STUDENTS are entering a portal thanks to a multi-million pound revamp that puts a North-East college at the forefront of health and safety.
Darlington College has opened the doors to its new look campus featuring a fantastic £2m Construction Innovation Centre.
More than ever before, students are gaining a real-life experience of the world of work as they enter a specially designed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Portal in which they must put on industry standard work gear before being permitted into the workshops and skills bays, as would be expected on any modern construction site.
High visibility vests, overalls, protective glasses and safety boots with steel toecaps must be worn by all students before they leave the PPE Portal and begin to learn.
Tutors and visitors to the centre also have to be properly equipped and the college has invested in steel-toed overshoes for guests to wear.
The Portal is used by students studying a variety of courses including bricklaying, plumbing, joinery, plastering, electrical, painting and decorating, welding, engineering and motor vehicle.
Head of construction Gary Potts explained: “In the Portal they will get a taste of what life is really like in the construction industry and the emphasis that is placed on safety.
“There has been a huge cultural shift in recent years concerning safety and the college is putting itself at the forefront of such best practice. Employers have a massive duty of care to their staff and so have we, to both staff and students.
“Risk assessment is an integral part of the world of work and it is vital to embed safe working practices into everything we do. Our new Portal will keep everyone safe at college and also mean that our students are used to working to industry standard safety requirements when they leave us.”