The University of Huddersfield and contractor Morgan Sindall are giving young school leavers and graduates the chance to lay the foundations of their careers while working on the construction of the landmark Oastler Building in Huddersfield town centre.
So far 10 full-time apprentices have worked on the scheme, both directly for Morgan Sindall and for a number of subcontractors involved in the build including HW Architectural, Elland Steel and Horbury Building Systems.
One graduate, Callum McCoy, has been working as a project manager for HW Architectural and has been helping to oversee the installation of £300,000 of toughened curtain wall glazing.
Brad Speed and Billy Doggs, both in the second year of a Dry Lining / Interior Systems apprenticeship, are working on the building’s partition walls with Horbury Building Systems.
Nasreen Issa, who recently graduated from University of Salford, joined Morgan Sindall on a placement and has been helping to project manage the build since May.
“The experience I’ve gained so far has been invaluable and I’m grateful to be working on such an impressive building for my first job in the industry” said Nasreen.
“It’s also really rewarding to contribute to a project that, once complete, is going to be of enormous benefit to the area I’ve grown up in.”
Colin Blair, the University’s Director of Estates, said: “I am really pleased that our latest project at the University of Huddersfield is offering so many exciting opportunities to apprentices. I myself entered the construction industry at the age of 16 and completed a five- year apprenticeship, so I speak from the heart.
“As a university, we offer a massive range of academic opportunities – mainly degree courses – but our continual programme of campus development is also providing a valuable education and career step-ups for the full-time apprentices taken on by Morgan Sindall and its sub-contractors. In years to come they will be able to look at the fabulous Oastler Building and say: ‘I contributed to that.’”
Mark Heginbotham, project director from Morgan Sindall, added: “We’ve been working with local suppliers throughout the build and it’s great to be able to offer these work placements in conjunction with the University. Encouraging young people to embark on careers in the construction industry is something we’re passionate about.
“We’re particularly proud of the progress Nasreen has made with us as a graduate project manager. There’s still a gender imbalance in the construction industry and Morgan Sindall is committed to playing its part in redressing it.”
The Oastler Building is on schedule for completion by early 2017.