Morgan Sindall construction brings skills boost to Salford trainees with knowledge quad

22nd April 2021

Morgan Sindall Construction has launched its second Knowledge Quad as part of its work on the University of Salford’s new Science, Engineering and Environment Building (SEE Building). The Knowledge Quad is a multi-purpose training and learning facility located within a live Morgan Sindall Construction site. It delivers value by undertaking activity focusing on the four key areas of skills, education, employment and discovery.

The Knowledge Quad also creates a vital link between industry and education, ensuring that curriculums align with employer requirements and that students, trainees and apprentices at all levels are provided with the relevant knowledge and skills to help them succeed.

The new facility will initially open its doors as a soft launch offering community programmes to small groups, in line with social distancing guidelines,  followed by a more extensive programme schedule as lockdown restrictions ease. The first event being held at the new facility has been led by Build Salford, a traineeship programme that enables 16-24-year olds to get takes the first steps in beginning an apprenticeship with leading construction firms.

The Knowledge Quad at The University of Salford

Many of the Build Salford trainees will then progress onto further apprenticeships with Apprenticeships at Salford City College. Head of Apprenticeships at Salford City College, Allan Milne explained: “Morgan Sindall Construction’s new Knowledge Quad at the University of Salford is an important addition to the skills and training offering in the local area. We’ve already seen what the facility has helped achieve in Liverpool, and it’s brilliant that young people from Salford and the wider local area will now be able to benefit from the career opportunities that it will support.”

“The manner in which the Knowledge Quad will help apprentices make valuable connections with potential employers is crucial – we look forward to working with Morgan Sindall Construction closely in order to help more young people achieve their potential.”

Allan Milne, Head of Apprenticeships at Salford City College

The Knowledge Quad concept began at Morgan Sindall Construction’s £150m Paddington Village multi-project site in Liverpool City Council’s Knowledge Quarter, the scale of which enabled a substantial investment into tackling the worsening skills gap in construction and maximising the socio-economic value of the development.

Since its launch in early 2019, the Knowledge Quad has run a range of programmes that have upskilled workers in trades and sectors identified as important to the future growth of the Liverpool City Region. Other activities have included employment pathway programmes for underrepresented groups including UK veterans, pre-employment skills workshops and numerous schools, college and university engagement sessions.

To date, the Knowledge Quad in Liverpool has resulted in over 6,950 students attending engagement events, 1,442 volunteer hours donated via Morgan Sindall Construction’s staff and supply chain and over 1,900 apprentice weeks at Morgan Sindall Construction projects. As a result of its impact in Liverpool, the Knowledge Quad was awarded the Value award at the 2020 North West Regional Construction Awards. 

Now, Morgan Sindall Construction is replicating the model to create a new Knowledge Quad on site at the University of Salford to help students and the local community benefit from the opportunities that the facility enables. Morgan Sindall Construction is currently delivering two projects for the University of Salford – the SEE Building and the North of England Robotics Innovation Centre (NERIC), which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Shaun Jones, Greater Manchester area director for Morgan Sindall Construction said: “Launching the second Knowledge Quad on site at our work at the University of Salford is a really proud moment for our team. Most importantly, it will improve the prospects of many people across Salford and Greater Manchester at time when it’s more important than ever to have access to skills and training opportunities.”

Build Salford Trainees with John Jordan, Build Salford Project Co-ordinator at Salford City Council and Tricia Adams, Social Value Manager at Morgan Sindall

Build Salford and Morgan Sindall Construction will work collaboratively to ensure the Knowledge Quad creates pathways that are inclusive and accessible, resulting in a tangible skills boost for Salford.

Salford City Council chief executive Tom Stannard said: “This is a great opportunity for young people to marry classroom and onsite learning on two prestigious projects which will support learning for decades to come. Salford’s building boom has not slowed even during the pandemic and the construction trades offer huge opportunities for local residents. I’m delighted to see Build Salford playing a key role in this scheme.”

For more information on the Build Salford programme click here, or alternatively contact our apprenticeships team at apprenticeships@salfordcc.ac.uk.