Thursday 17th June 2010 by C. Freeman
Students on the Construction in the Built Environment diploma recently had a lecture from a former student who is now working in the industry.
Mr Danny Nelson was among the first cohort of students to start at Brooke Weston in 1991. Nearly two decades on, he is now group development manager for local firm Winvic Construction, who construct multi-million pound projects all over the country.
He spoke to students about his career progression, from initial training at Moulton College through to working on large-scale projects like the Silverstone bypass, as well as the challenges facing the industry.
'The biggest driver behind any change in construction is sustainability, the more efficient these buildings are the better their energy performance ratings will be. The industry really needs to concentrate on building more sustainably, more efficiently and more environmentally friendly.'
Winvic, who are based at Northampton, construct industrial distribution units for developers and large blue chip companies; one of their customers is ProLogis developments, Winvic were contracted to construct and deliver all of the buildings located at ProLogis Park in Kettering. They are currently building warehouses in Glasgow and Enfield and have recently completed a £46m distribution centre for Marks & Spencer that boasts a million square foot of storage!
Industrial sheds are not Winvic's sole market sector; they have also built care homes and public buildings and are always investigating and evaluating new business opportunities.
Mr Nelson said: 'I look at the business strategy for the group, identifying growth sectors. We turn over in excess of £80m per year between 46 employees. It is a very well run, well structured business. We have also just attained our Investors In People Award. Coming here to talk to the students has brought back some great memories. The diploma course is very good and I definitely wish it had been around when I was their age!'
Teacher Jonathan Browne said: 'Mr Nelson gave our students a real insight into construction and some of the job roles and career progression that is possible. We are also hoping to visit one of their massive warehouses in the near future to get a better understanding of its size, construction and environmental issues.'