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George Clarke visits the college

TV personality and architect George Clarke returned to his former college today, to help current students complete part of their course.

<p>George was among a panel of construction and architecture professionals sharing their industry expertise with students studying construction at Sunderland College.</p>
<p>As part of their course, students on BTEC Level 4 Construction and the Built Environment were set a complex project brief, and worked in groups to come up with solutions. They presented their ideas to the panel which offered feedback and advice on their work.</p>
<p>The project focused on designing a construction scheme for a brownfield site on the outskirts of a market town. The students had to come up with proposals that would boost the town’s economy and provide jobs, creating a blueprint to be replicated in other areas of the town.</p>
<p>Originally from Blackfell, Sunderland, George studied the same BTEC Level 4 course at Sunderland College before focusing on architecture at university. Now a well-known TV personality, presenting numerous property shows, George is currently on our screens with ‘The Great British Property Scandal’.</p>
<p>George said: “Studying at Sunderland College was an important step on my way to becoming an architect, and getting to where I am today. So, for me, it’s incredibly important that I keep in touch with the college and work with the students. I want to share with them what I’ve learnt along the way and encourage them to push themselves and pursue their future careers.</p>
<p>“Today’s presentations were fantastic and demonstrated real talent for project planning and design, as well as some incredibly creative responses to the brief. I hope my feedback and suggestions have proved useful, and that the students go away full of enthusiasm for the course, and full of confidence in their abilities.”</p>
<p>One of the students who presented to George and the panel was Wayne Kennedy, 31, from Hetton. Wayne said: “Today’s been great. We’ve been working hard on this project for most of the term, coming up with ideas and planning how we’d present them. To get feedback from people already in the industry is really helpful and they had some great ideas too.</p>
<p>“To meet someone like George who’s been so successful is really inspirational. He’s from just down the road from me, so it shows just what I could achieve too.”</p>
<p>Gerry Ruffles, lecturer in Green Technology Design and Building Services, said: “The students have embraced this project and come up with some well thought-out solutions to the problem. Today’s event has been a huge success and they have all learnt a great deal from the panel of experts.</p>
<p>“Having an alumni such as George Clarke, who continues to be involved with the college, and who is so successful in his career is invaluable. His involvement gives our students a real insight in to what they could achieve, and instills a sense of ambition.”</p>
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