Capital Gains for Super Six College Learners

Six Preston’s College Construction and Engineering learners came away from the country’s capital victorious after winning the prestigious HS2 ‘Fast Trackers’ competition.

Taking place in front of over 200 people, including industry, government and college representatives at University College London, the competition saw learners create a redesign of London’s Euston Station before planning and costing a route for the proposed high speed rail link between London and Birmingham.

The competition centred around the well publicised High Speed Two (HS2) which is set to be the backbone of the national rail network, linking up 8/10 of the country’s largest cities including London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Preston's College Staff & Learners
Lisa Keegan (Maintenance Officer), Mohammed Husain, Josh McGinley, Rafe Jiva, Lizzie Andrews, Choice Odumeru, Ethan Caskey, Gavin Kelly (Construction Lecturer)

Preston’s College Level 3 learners, Mohammed Hussain, Josh McGinley, Rafe Jiva, Lizzie Andrews, Choice Odumeru and Ethan Caskey took part in the thrilling challenges delivered by the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP).

Learners presented their plans to a Dragons’ Den style panel made up from industry professionals. The initial task took learners into the depths of how modern train stations are built by redesigning the look of London Euston while maintaining its heritage. The second task saw learners design a new railway track between London Euston and Birmingham New Street, taking into account environmental, commercial, social and practical implications.

The team walked away with the NCOP Fast Track Trophy, individual certificates of achievement and £50 Amazon Vouchers. Learners also received guided tours of St Pancras and London Bridge Stations in preparation for the main event.

Mark Taylor, head of school for construction at Preston’s College, said “This result highlights the quality of the College’s full-time Level 3 provision which progresses learners directly onto University and Apprenticeship pathways.

“We ensure that learners gain their skills in purpose built, real work environments, whilst developing their skills from tutors who still have an active role in the industry.

“For companies looking to hire skilled young people in professional construction, together with trade areas, Preston’s College can progress learners directly from the classroom directly onto an apprenticeship programme. This ensures businesses have a pipeline of talented young people ready to fill their bottom line and progress within their organisation.”

The Fast Trackers event was organised by Future U, a collaborative project bringing together universities, colleges, schools and businesses from across Lancashire to help empower young people.

Learn more about Preston’s College Construction courses from Level 2 to HNC at


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