Getting ready for our Spring students!


Getting ready for our Spring students!

It’s always a busy time at the IBTC Portsmouth when new Joinery and Boatbuilding students begin their studies, and preparations begin several weeks in advance to make sure everything runs smoothly.

New this year we’ve introduced a pre-course Tools Workshop. Inspired by suggestions from previous students, this was an opportunity for the new intake to examine woodworking tools and compare brands and features with our Stores Keeper before buying their initial kit. The Workshop took place a couple of weeks before the course start date and half of the confirmed students were able to attend. The feedback from the day was universally positive, and it’s an addition that we will repeat in the future.

There are also quite a few practical preparations to be made. The Joinery workshop is cleaned, the bench lockers emptied and the room set up. Joinery Instructor Mark comes in for a day to machine a variety of timbers into pieces suitable for the first few weeks of instruction.

As courses start every 6 months, the week before a new intake arrives also marks the end of one course and the half-way point of another. It’s a holiday week for the half-way students but for college staff it’s a rare chance to undertake the kind of group Professional Development Training that it is hard to accommodate during term time. This February some staff had a day of Slinging and Lifting refresher training whilst others spent a day in the classroom getting to grips with Microsoft Access. It’s also a chance for staff to plan coursework, work on joint projects and organise resources for the next few months.

With all this done, finally it’s time to get all the training folders ready, order the sandwiches and wash out the tea and coffee cups. We’re then ready for the best bit of the process – meeting & getting to know our new students.