By Steve Cory, Kier Site Manager
Open Doors Week is a date we all in the construction industry look forward to each year and this year was no different. As Site Manager on our North Range scheme in Cambridge, it was a great opportunity for me to show the public around the complex we’re carrying out on site for our longstanding client, the University of Cambridge.
Our £30m scheme comprises refurbishment and new build elements to provide a new student services centre and examination hall for the University which we’re due to complete later this year.
We’re refurbishing the existing Arts School as well as the Rayleigh and Cavendish Wings, while we’re constructing a four-storey building which will house exam halls, a large atrium area and a number of office spaces for the University, so there was lots for people to see as part of the Open Doors visit.
This work is being carried out on an extremely constrained site in the centre of Cambridge, so we were able to share some of the challenges that brings as well as construction techniques we’ve adopted on site.
Following a presentation on the project and a site induction, we took visitors on a tour of the site, encapsulating all aspects of the scheme. The tour took us through the refurbished Arts School and Wings and we also went up to the first floor of what will be the new student services centre where there was an opportunity to take pictures and ask more questions about the scheme and industry in general.
The most rewarding part of the visits was the interest we had from people in pursuing a career in construction. While lots of those on the tour wanted to know more about the company, we also had a handful of people who have since approached Kier about routes into the industry and potential openings.
I think that example shows just how valuable the Open Doors initiative is to open peoples’ eyes to the inner workings of a construction site, as well as showcasing the range of other career opportunities the sector offers.
It’s something we’re extremely passionate about at Kier, as shown through our Shaping Your World campaign to attract the next generation into the industry, and are looking forward to supporting Open Doors for many years to come.