The Allenby and Connaught MOD project is a 35-year PFI to finance, construct and refurbish, service and maintain modern, high-quality living and working accommodation.
Under the first phase of construction (2006–2014), accommodation was delivered for approximately 18,700 soldiers (nearly 20% of the British Army). A further 2,400 single en-suite bed spaces are currently being delivered under the Army Basing Programme phase (2016-2020) to cater for British troops withdrawing from Germany in summer 2019 and units rebasing in the UK.
In May 2018, the project company (“Aspire Defence Limited”) organised a construction site visit for a group of 15 pupils aged 14-15 years from Harrow Way Community School. This event gave the children an insight to construction and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (“STEM”) career opportunities.
At the vast Army Basing Programme technical build area, groundworks and engineering sub-contractors from Aspire Defence Capital Works participated in a Q&A session covering a wide variety of topics, from the day-to-day activities on a construction site to the technical intricacies of foundations, steel frames and masonry work. Several female construction staff were also on hand to talk about their career path into construction, an industry where women have been traditionally underrepresented.
The project director also led a minibus tour of the garrison, encompassing the in-construction Junior Ranks’ diner and the completed (unoccupied) Junior Ranks’ single living accommodation. The pupils left at the end of the day with an Aspire Defence goody bag, which included a scientific calculator.
They took away some interesting impressions too:
“There are a lot more jobs in construction than I realised.”
“Construction sites are a lot cleaner than I thought they would be.”
Allan Thomson, Chief Executive of Aspire Defence Limited, said:
“School children are the employees of the future, so engaging with them at an early stage is a really worthwhile exercise for any business and hopefully helps them make informed decisions about their further education and career path. We were delighted that the staff and students enjoyed the day and found it useful. We hope to host more visits to the project from local secondary schools in future.”
The Allenby and Connaught project supports many community initiatives, for more details please go to: https://aspiredefence.co.uk/community/