DIY SOS star opens new Centre for Construction Trade Apprenticeships

A new Hull College Centre for Construction Trade Apprenticeships has been opened by BBC DIY SOS’s Mark Millar with the help of Hobson & Porter.

The new centre, at Portobello Street in Hull, was opened on Thursday 28th November and will act as a skills facility for construction apprentices, covering trades such as Carpentry and Joinery, Bricklaying, Maintenance Operations.

We were proud to sponsor the opening of the event alongside 11 other organisations which work in partnership to provide materials, tools and advice. Other firms in attendance included suppliers Dulux, Ibstock and Portwest.

Mark Millar was given a tour of the site by Hull College and Hobson & Porter and spoke to apprentices, teachers and employers at the event.

He revealed a commemorative plaque as part of the official opening ceremony, dedicated to former Hull College tutor Shaun Clarke, who worked at the college for 17 years and developed many learners to be industry ready.

Discussing the new Centre for Construction Trade Apprenticeships, Mark said: “I think it’s incredible, to see it go from something where there was nothing nine weeks ago to be turned around into a real educational environment is fantastic.

“It’s great that Hobson & Porter have got behind this and so many people who have come on board with supplies; Jewsons, Saint Gobain, DeWalt, Ibstock and many more. it’s amazing to see there are still people out there prepared to invest in the youth coming through the industry.”

Mark has been an ambassador for Hobson & Porter’s Foundations Initiative since 2018. He said:

“The more we produce here the better skills we can put out into the marketplace and people can see what they’ve invested in. It’s so important to keep facilities like this supported and funded.

He added: “We need to invest in the future and that is why Hobson & Porter has launched the Foundations Initiative and I’m very proud to be behind it.”

DIY SOS’s Mark Millar with Hull College Bricklaying apprentice Beth Skinner

Hobson & Porter named on major multi-million-pound social housing new-build framework

Hobson & Porter is one of only 29 firms selected by regional procurement body Efficiency North for its £340m social housing new-build framework.

It’s the second time we’ve been selected by Efficiency North to deliver work for affordable schemes for social housing landlords in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Hobson & Porter has been selected for schemes of between 30 and 85 units with the arrangement running until November 2023. The scope covers site preparation, site remediation, associated civil engineering and infrastructure works, design, new build construction.

Managing Director Richard Hunter: “It is excellent news to be included in Efficiency North’s framework for the second time. It will demonstrate our expertise in delivering a range of high-quality projects and benefitting communities in various parts of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

“It shows our capabilities and a real confidence in our skills and sits firmly within our impressive family of construction frameworks adding to our reputation of positively contributing to the built environment in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire through collaboration, innovation and our dedication to building projects.”

We were also selected to Efficiency North’s last framework – which delivered up to 1,394 new homes with an overall contract value of £177m.

Among our work with Efficiency North in the past has included the construction of 12 new affordable homes at Monument House in Pontefract for Wakefield District Housing.

In addition to this and aside from the main new-build framework we also extended our relationship with Efficiency North and were successful in securing the first project under the EN:Able build programme; An early contractor involvement land-led model for delivering social housing. In December 2019 we successfully handed over 24 two and three bedroom social units to Together Housing at Harworth near Doncaster.

Mr Hunter added: “Working with EN:Able Build and Together Housing on the Harworth project was truly collaborative as we were involved in all the key decisions from day one and that allowed us to contribute fully to the process of value engineering.”

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Hiding a little bit of history to mark completion of the Aura Innovation Centre

We’ve teamed up with pupils from the All Saints’ Federation in Hessle to hide a little bit of history beneath the multi-million-pound Aura Innovation Centre.

Throughout our construction work for the University of Hull at the Bridgehead Business Park we’ve been collaborating with pupils from the school, introducing them to the site and giving lessons about the construction industry.

To mark the completion of the £12m facility, pupils were back on site to bury a time capsule which includes their thoughts on future energy sources.

Director Dave Blades said: “We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with pupils at the school teaching them about the construction and renewables industries. They’ve all been so engaging and hopefully we’ve encouraged a few of them to aspire to a career in construction in the future.

“As part of our Foundations initiative we want to give something back to communities and this does just that. Hopefully all the pupils have enjoyed the experience as much as we have at Hobson & Porter.”

Pupils at the school also showed off their artistic skills to create some wonderful hoardings which brightened up the site whilst the construction work was taking place. With the work complete now, the murals have been gifted to the school.

A message from All Saints’ Federation said: “Thank you so much Hobson & Porter and Aura Innovation. We have loved working with you over the past year and feel very lucky to have had this opportunity.”

When it officially opens in early 2020, Aura will provide a space for businesses to develop new renewable energy technologies, create a strong supply chain, and spearhead the Humber’s low carbon ambitions.

A message from Aura praised the efforts of the pupils. It said: “It’s amazing to see how keen the future generations are to learn about clean energy – we can’t wait to hear their predictions.”

The time capsule contained pupils’ drawings with their thoughts on what energy sources will be used in the future

Pupils with the Aura mural at All Saints Primary School