In Coventry Kier is building a brand new materials engineering centre for Warwick Manufacturing Group, an academic department of the University of Warwick.
Started just before Christmas and expected to complete in September this year, the £6.2m Materials Engineering Centre forms part a rapid expansion of teaching facilities at WMG. The department is actively supported by the university, businesses and employers across the Midlands region, making this a project of particular interest to the community.
The steel-framed structure is set over three storeys and will provide more than 1,200 sq m of floorspace, comprising classrooms and an engineering hall designed to increase WMG’s materials research capacity.
Our Open Doors tour includes a group of students ranging from 14 to 18 years old from the nearby WMG Academy, accompanied by a teacher and an enthusiastic careers adviser.
Given the close co-operation between WMG and WMG Academy, this is by no means the first time these students have had chance to engage directly with construction and technology.
The academy – built only three years ago by Kier – stands as testament to how continuing engagement between young people and the industry is paying dividends, encouraging them to seriously consider a career in construction.
Open Doors 2018 Kier Materials Engineering Centre 0429
Donned in high-viz jackets, hard hats and boots, the tour begins at the site office with a quick health and safety presentation and a chance for the students to ask a few questions.
The tour leader explains there are more than 2,000 available job roles at Kier and, contrary to expectations, not all involve getting your hands dirty.
Students don’t hesitate to ask questions throughout the visit, ranging from project’s budget and how long it will take to complete, to more involved questions around how contractors bid for such schemes.
The tour concludes with an extended Q&A session back at the site office. The students themselves all display a keen interest in construction jobs, and it’s encouraging to hear conversations turn to the various career paths – just the sort of talk Open Doors is designed to foster.