Bay Campus contractor helps apprentice skills

Reussir Ltd, one of the brickwork contractors working on the development of Swansea University’s Bay Campus, has been playing an important role in helping develop local apprentices.

The company was one of the first on site to support a placement under the Cyfle Shared Apprentice Scheme which allows apprentices to complete a full apprenticeship programme by working with a number of different employers, to gain the skill sets they require to become qualified.

Having had a Cyfle Shared Apprentice placement working for them on site, the company identified that they were using some construction methods which the apprentice hadn’t covered in college.  A meeting was arranged with Reussir, Cyfle and NPTC Group to discuss the issue, which linked to the scope of the qualification.  As a result, managing director of Reussir, Roger Byrne, stepped in to help address the deficiency by donating materials which enable the particular skills to be taught.

2nd CampusRoger, who was himself ‘Apprentice of the Year’ in 1980 while working for John Laings in London, said: “I am extremely passionate about my trade and take great pride in the training of young future bricklayers.”

‌‌‌‌‌‌‌Over 1 million bricks will be used on site, which is being constructed by St. Modwen, the land owner and development partner for the £450million Bay ‌Campus (above).  If laid end to end these would reach from North to South Wales. The brickwork on the student accommodation buildings alone would cover 4 football pitches.

‌And Reussir’s support didn’t stop there.  While visiting the College, Roger was shown some work completed by a student on the Pathways to Apprenticeship course, Sam Shaw.  After seeing what Sam was working on, Roger offered him a work experience opportunity during the college half term, which gave Sam a chance to gain skills and tips from experienced bricklayers working on the site.  It proved to be such a positive experience for both Reussir and Sam that he has been asked back on site over the summer to ensure he keeps developing.  Sam has also now been successful in securing employment with Cyfle Building Skills, the regional Shared Apprentice scheme, starting in September.

Commenting on the Cyfle Scheme, Roger said: “Every major brickwork company has always struggled to keep apprentices busy, and on sites long enough to really gain the benefit of site working and training.  The Shared Apprenticeship allows employers like us to give the training they require and is a flexible method of learning.  I think with the recession passing and growth returning to the construction industry it is essential for us all to work together for our futures.”

The Cyfle scheme is just one of the initiatives which are being promoted to contractors working on Bay Campus to encourage them and to make it easy for them to offer local people opportunities on this major construction site.  Also involved are the Workways initiative which focuses on getting people back into work after a period of unemployment, Beyond Bricks and Mortar, which looks are all aspects of training and new employment opportunities and Swansea Bay Partnership which is exploring local supply chain opportunities and support needed by local businesses to tender for work on the development.

Reussir is one of a number of contractors on the £450million Bay Campus development which have been working with the support team to identify opportunities for local people.  As of the end of June, those companies have provided more than 1200 weeks of training or work experience to more than 60 individuals.