A FAMILY-owned construction firm that's been going for 125 years is teaching two sandwich students the tools of the building trade.

Morgan John, from Swindon, who is part way through studying for a BEng (Hons) degree in civil engineering at Loughborough University, has joined the company for a year-long placement.

Since starting in July he has worked on a number of Beard's projects, including the company's £1.8 million refurbishment of the Grade-II listed Corsham mansion.

“I want to be able to drive past a building and point at it and say, ‘I built that’,” said Morgan.

“My Beard placement will give me experience of working within a construction team and developing key skills. Industry placements are important because they allow apply the theory that you learn in university being put into practice.”

“This placement has given me an opportunity to work closely with a senior design manager and see a project move from the tendering stage, through to construction and finally completion."

Morgan is doing the placement with Dominic Dack, 20, who lives in West Oxfordshire, while studying for a BSc degree in quantity surveying and commercial management with Coventry University.

He added: "University is great, but it can’t teach you everything about an industry and it can’t give you a full understanding of the role in the real world. I think it is something that’s really necessary in the construction sector.”

Marc Bayley, Beard regional director said: “As a family-owned business, we strongly believe in providing hands-on work experience for students like Dominic and Morgan who are interested in pursuing construction careers.

"Not only do placements give them the opportunity to get a feel for our industry, they also help us attract the next generation of talented people into our business and the wider construction industry."