Apprentices ‘join’ construction team for major city building refurb

L-R David Goodman, apprentice and Andy Morris, site manager

Midlands-based construction firm, G F Tomlinson has completed a major refurbishment at Byron House on Maid Marion Way, Nottingham.

Two joinery apprentices, 17 year old Dave Goodman and 19 year old Mitchell Spencer, joined the 30-strong project team to gain invaluable skills on site as part of the firm’s ongoing commitment to help tackle the skills gap.

Now complete, the six-storey building will be used by Nottinghamshire Police and Nottingham City Council and will provide facilities to accommodate an office move and consolidation of services.

The scheme was procured through the East Midlands Property Alliance (empa) framework which helps public-sector bodies save money and the apprentices were recruited via empa’s dedicated construction training academy.

Dave Goodman, joinery apprentice said: “I would really recommend doing an apprenticeship to anyone who is thinking about it. I’ve been having a great time and learning lots of new skills with the team on site. As part of my joinery apprenticeship I’ve been doing lots of work on doors, door frames and skirting boards too.”

Andy Sewards, director for G F Tomlinson said: “Byron House has been stood empty for a while so we are delighted to complete this commercial refurbishment project on behalf of Nottingham City Council. The site team fully stripped out the interiors, lay new flooring equivalent to the size of a football pitch, and fully refit the accommodation to ensure it is fit for purpose.

“The apprentices helped to install partition walls with an area the same size as eight tennis courts and almost one kilometre of skirting and architrave has been fit. The two apprentices were an asset to the team throughout the scheme.”

Alan Coole, head of empa added: “By choosing to procure this project through the empa framework, Nottingham City Council has helped to create much-needed learning opportunities for apprentice joiners like Mitchell and Dave, who have joined the G F Tomlinson team on site. Schemes like this help to save the taxpayer money and tackle the growing skills gap within the construction industry.”

empa is a local authority-led initiative set up in 2008 to streamline the procurement and delivery of building work and property maintenance in the public sector.

The alliance operates across a range of sectors, from schools, colleges and universities to housing groups, care homes, leisure facilities and libraries – with some 465 projects worth an estimated £165m currently in progress.