A Bradford school has become the first in the North of England to deliver a new range of construction qualifications.

Tong High School was named as an accredited delivery centre by the Construction Industry Training Board in November, and a cohort of 72 students, aged 14 to 19, have now started studies across a variety of CITB Cskills Awards.

Courses are taught in the school’s construction centre, which was converted from a disused caretaker's house.

Head teacher Stephen Curran said: “This recognition demonstrates our exceptional provision and offers a potentially direct route to employment for students choosing to pursue a career in the industry. It is a real example of the power of partnerships which are mutually beneficial and positively influence the achievement of students and our wider community.”

Cskills started delivery on 35 new construction diplomas across the UK in August 2013, with Tong School offering Level One and Level Three Awards in multicraft construction activities and Level One Awards and Certificates in bricklaying, carpentry and joinery. The school hopes to offer Level Two opportunities from September and is aiming to expand provision to include external students up to the age of 25.

The construction centre at the school was built as part of the ‘Classroom in Construction’ scheme, designed to allow pupils to hone their practical skills in a real-life environment. One of the partners in the project was Bradford-based building and civil engineering company, Moortown Construction, whose quality and environmental manager, Jonathan Milnes, will continue to work with the school in a Quality Assurance Membership role.

“With youth unemployment at record levels, we continuously work hard to ensure our students are best equipped to reach their full potential, whether they’re set for university life or the world of work,” said Mr Curran.

For more on Cskills qualifications, visit cskills.org/awards.