Two University of Wolverhampton students are getting hands-on experience in a project which will provide state-of-the-art training facilities for the next generation of key workers.
The two students, Ben Harris and Nadia Fernandes, work for Birmingham based Overbury, the contractor appointed to lead the refurbishment and fit out of the new Marches Centre of Excellence in Health, Allied Health and Social Care in the Angad Paul Building at the University’s Priorslee Telford Campus.
The Centre, which has received £3.5m Growth Deal funding from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), will enable healthcare students to gain hands-on, real-life experience of the profession they will enter and ensure they have the skills and knowledge to benefit employers.
Ben Harris, 20 from Wolverhampton, is studying for a Construction Management Degree Apprenticeship and is in his 3rd year. He is currently based full time on the Telford project as trainee Project Manager. Nadia Fernandes, 21 from Evesham, is studying for a BA (Hons) Interior Design and is in her 1st year. She works on the Telford project one day a week as a Junior Designer, as well as on another project in Birmingham City Centre.
Andrew Wood, Managing Director at Overbury Central, said: “Both Ben and Nadia joined Overbury’s Foundation Programme over the past two years, giving each the opportunity to work alongside our teams and learn from their expertise, gain on site experience all whilst completing their qualifications. It’s key for our teams to pass and share our knowledge to the next generation of managers, continuing our excellent delivery in the future. Ben’s course is a Degree Apprenticeship which is government funded whereas Nadia’s degree is being funded by Overbury, whilst they both complete both their courses and their roles with us.”
Ben said: “It’s great to work on a project at the University of Wolverhampton where both myself and Nadia study. Working with recognised clients is a benefit of being part of the Overbury Foundation Programme. The University course has given me great opportunities to connect learning to practical hands-on work. I am aiming to become Project Manager and the Foundation Programme has really helped me to rise to this challenge, working alongside some of the most experienced people within construction. Being able to complete my studies and turn this into immediate practical experience, is a huge benefit to the completion of my degree.”
Nadia said: “The team have been great, ensuring I gain onsite experience despite the restrictions within COVID. Being able to work alongside exceptional designers, understanding what the client needs, and then delivering a project is an experience second to none. So far I have competed both sample rooms, stakeholder engagement sessions and key graphics pieces for clients, all with a view to becoming a leading designer in the future.”
The new Centre will create new skills and simulation facilities that can be used across health and social care disciplines. It will proactively address shortfalls in health professionals across the Marches area, with an emphasis on local people and students who will become key workers.
The new facilities will include a room for paramedic science and other disciplines, a mock house, various teaching spaces and new student social spaces.
Also involved in the project are architects Broadway Malyan, Faithful & Gould as the client-side project manager and Gleeds as Project Management and cost management services.