How do you inspire young people to get into construction?
Well, why not try taking them 32 storeys up above the London skyline?
That’s what Wates Construction did this morning, taking a dozen students from Royal Greenwich UTC around its Greenwich Apartments (M104) development on Greenwich Peninsula as part of Open Doors Week.
Open Doors 2016_Wates Construction Greenwich Peninsula Apartments 3
Project director Ken Farnon led the tour, beginning with an overview of Knight Dragon’s £25bn Greenwich Peninsula project, of which the M104 scheme is a small part, before we moved onto site.
This scheme is worth £77m to Wates, with 269 apartments being built. The team is 75 weeks into a 115-week programme, with everything progressing to plan so far.
On site we ascended 32 storeys in the construction hoist, giving us incredible views back over the O2 Arena towards Canary Wharf and the City of London, with the capital’s other big regeneration project at Stratford visible to the north-east.
Once we had finished soaking in the views, we descended the staircase, stopping off at a number of floors on the way down to see M&E, drylining and other finishing trades at work.
Open Doors 2016_Wates Construction Greenwich Peninsula Apartments 4
Jed, 14, a year 10 student who wants to go into civil engineering, describes the site as “amazing”.
“It’s different to what I expected – it’s all really planned out in terms of safety,” he says. “I want to be a civil engineer and become a boss on a site like this.”
Other students also have their eyes on the top jobs, with one asking Ken how much he got paid – with an answer coming in private after the tour.
Aymard, 15, says the visit was “really interesting”. “There was loads of information,” he adds. “We could see lots of different sites – it was like we were on top of the world!”
Greenwich Apartments (M104)
Contractor: Wates Construction
Client: Knight Dragon
Concrete subcontractor: J Reddington
Drylining subcontractor: Stanmore
Location: North Greenwich, London
Start date: January 2015
Completion date: March 2017