Apprentices boost careers on Worcester Art House project

Five apprentices are getting a careers kick-start on one of our major construction projects delivering a new creative arts hub for students at the University of Worcester.

Stepnell is transforming the Grade 2-listed 1930s Austin House art deco building – originally a car showroom – in Castle Street, Worcester, into the new Art House which will provide teaching and learning facilities for art and design students alongside exhibition space.

As well as the establishment of a major new facility, the project is delivering important community benefits locally, including opportunities for five construction apprentices – employed by Stepnell and our subcontractor partners – to gain industry experience working on the scheme.

The apprentices are (left to right in attached photo): Stepnell apprentice carpenter Daniel Little; Stepnell bricklayer Brett Robinson; Apex apprentice joiner William Banks; A J Taylor Electrical apprentice Connor Stimson and heating contractor MIH apprentice plumber Liam Hazelden.

Daniel Little – who comes from Bewdley, near Kidderminster, and is Stepnell’s Apprentice of the Year – says: “Working on such a high-profile project has been a fantastic experience. It’s given me a great opportunity to develop my technical skills with the support of colleagues in the highly experienced project team.”

Mark Hughes, the University of Worcester’s director of Estates and Facilities, says: “The University is committed to providing opportunities for young people to learn, both for our own students, and also through a range of projects we are involved in. We are therefore delighted that five young apprentices are gaining valuable skills and experience, which will serve them well in their careers, through working on the Art House.

“The University makes a significant contribution to the local economy and we strive to create training, local employment and increase business opportunities for small suppliers and subcontractors through our work.”

Stepnell regional director John Rawlinson says: “Enabling people at the start of their construction careers to gain trade skills, site experience and nationally-recognised qualifications is a key element of the work we are doing in partnership with the University of Worcester to create the Art House.

“We’re delighted that the scheme is giving so many apprentices the opportunity to advance their professional development as members of the team creating this impressive new facility. We’re also supporting the local economy by employing local businesses and suppliers to work on the project where we can.” Currently, 30 per cent of the subcontractor companies and site workers working on The Art House scheme come from within 20 miles of the development. Stepnell has also donated £500 to the Smile for Joel charity founded by the family of former University of Worcester student Joel Richards who was tragically killed, aged just 19, in the Tunisian terror attack of 2015.

The Art House project is due to open to students in the New Year.

 

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