The chance to look behind the hoarding of Mace’s £225m Greenwich Square regeneration scheme is inspiring local college students studying construction.
For 12 students studying a BTEC in construction at Shooters Hill post-16 college, Open Doors Weekend provides their first time on a live construction site.
They are eager to take a tour of the £225m project to build 645 homes, community leisure facilities and a Sainsbury’s Local, being delivered by a joint venture of Mace and Hadley Property Group.
But first, project director Gus Wright introduces them to how the industry works, the breadth of roles for individuals and the wide range of projects they could work on – from a regeneration scheme to an Olympic stadium to the Shard.
They don their PPE and go to the roof of a seven-storey block to watch the work being carried out by 300 workers on site.
Students say they are surprised by the scale of the project and how much work is going on below them.
The only female student in the group says she is fascinated by the construction industry and intends to study quantity surveying at university, while others say they aspire to be civil engineers and architects.
At the end of the tour, one student says he has gained “more of an insight” to careers in construction, while another thanks Mace for the opportunity to go on site, which he says was “just brilliant”.
Mace community liaison manager for the Greenwich Square project Michelle Baker says the contractor got involved in Open Doors to help inform young people about opportunities in construction.
“We’re desperate to get new blood into the industry and give local people employment opportunities,” she says. “We’re engaging with local schools and colleges to promote the industry.”
Location Greenwich, south-east London
Client Mace Hadley JV, Royal Borough of Greenwich, 4Q Housing Association, NHS
Project value £225m
Start date April 2013
Completion date 2018