Opening the doors to a £30m housing project at Brentford Lock reveals the opportunities for career progression in construction.
Willmott Dixon’s Brentford Lock housing regeneration scheme is buzzing with activity when visitors, including business secretary Vince Cable, turn up for Open Doors Weekend.
With 45 apartments at the 150-unit scheme due to complete this December, visitors have the chance to watch more than 20 different subcontractors at work, from M&E and fit-out specialists preparing two near-completed blocks for handover, to groundwork and piling teams getting a further three plots of land ready for construction.
Operations manager Steve Leese says of the 70 people working on site, 10 are trainees across nine different trades, including an apprentice bricklayer and a trainee assistant site manager.
He is keen to encourage the next generation of construction workers to join the industry, whatever their background, due to the opportunities for career progression.
“I left school with nothing, started as a bricklayer and worked my way up. I’ve been at Wilmott Dixon for 18 years now,” he says.
Assistant site manager Oliver Holt joined Willmott Dixon after studying construction management at university.
Mr Holt adds that there is “never a dull moment in construction” and says he would encourage young people to join the industry because “every day is different and there’s always a new challenge to overcome”.
Location Brentford Lock, London
Contractor Willmott Dixon
Client ISIS Waterside Regeneration
Project value £30m
Start date October 2012
Completion date Autumn 2014