The Knowledge Quad, Morgan Sindall Construction’s multi-purpose learning space that is driven by innovation, people development and social value, has been honoured with the Value award at the 2020 North West Regional Construction Awards (NWRCA).
Located within Liverpool City Council’s flagship £1bn Paddington Village development in Knowledge Quarter Liverpool, for which Morgan Sindall Construction is delivering numerous projects such as The Spine — the new £35m northern base for the Royal College of Physicians — the Knowledge Quad uses construction to inspire local people. It instils Liverpool City Council’s vision of inclusive growth into the wider development via its pillars of Skills, Education, Employment and Discovery.
Since its launch in early 2019, the Knowledge Quad has run a range of programmes that upskill workers in trades and sectors identified as important to the future growth of the City Region. This has involved programmes on civil engineering, joinery, building envelope, painting and decorating and electrical. A Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) brickwork pilot was run in conjunction with Wirral Met College and Hugh Baird College, while the Project Recce employment course enabled a pathway for UK veterans to enter employment in the construction industry.
Other initiatives delivered at the facility include jobs fairs, as well as regular lectures from educational partners. Liverpool John Moores University, City of Liverpool College and Blackburne House have all hosted sessions on site.
The Knowledge Quad has also hosted CV sessions and other employability activities, which have helped bridge the gap for attendees between education or unemployment and finding work.
Outputs from the Knowledge Quad include:
- 6,948 students have attended engagement events
- 1,442 volunteer hours donated via Morgan Sindall Construction’s staff and supply chain
- 30 employment programmes/employment support events held
- Over 1,900 apprentice weeks at Morgan Sindall Construction projects with various engagement events and additional training
The above activity resulted in the Knowledge Quad taking home the Value award at NWRCA, which celebrates projects that demonstrate positive outcomes for the owners and users of facilities. Elsewhere during the virtual ceremony, Morgan Sindall Construction won a trio of awards for its work on Manchester Metropolitan University’s Arts and Humanities building.
Following the ongoing success in Liverpool, Morgan Sindall Construction has now announced it will be creating a new Knowledge Quad on site at the University of Salford in 2021 where it is currently building two new educational facilities — the £65m Science, Engineering and Environmental Building (SEE Building) and the £13m North of England Robotics Innovation Centre, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Barry Roberts, Managing Director for Morgan Sindall Construction in the North West said: “Since we launched the Knowledge Quad, it’s been truly inspiring to work closely with stakeholders from across the region in order to ensure the next generation of workers are well placed to develop valuable and rewarding careers. I’d like to thank everyone who has taken part in a session or given up their time to help us deliver our skills programme, as well as the judges who recognised the excellent work that has taken place.
“The success of the first Knowledge Quad in Liverpool means we’re keen to use the model elsewhere, and so we will be launching a second facility on site at the University of Salford next year. For many years our industry has been battling a skills shortage, and the dreadful impact of the COVID-19 pandemic means it’s more important than ever to create opportunities for young people to thrive that will in turn support the long term future of our industry, in addition to supporting routes into employment in other sectors. We’re already doing just that in Liverpool, and we look forward to helping even more people at the new Knowledge Quad in Salford next year.”
Jason Challender, Director of Estates and Facilities, University of Salford, commented: “Creating a campus that is fit for the future is critical for the University and we are delighted to have appointed Morgan Sindall Construction to deliver these two outstanding buildings that will encompass and facilitate the growth of our core values — industry collaboration, innovation and sustainability.
“We were highly impressed with Morgan Sindall Construction’s existing Knowledge Quad and are really pleased that an initiative like this is now coming to our campus. The facility will not only offer real life-experience and opportunities for our students, it will also provide a vital space for the community as we develop the ongoing Crescent Masterplan. A huge congratulations to Morgan Sindall Construction on winning the Value accolade at the recent North West Regional Construction Awards event and we look forward to working with them on delivering an impactful portfolio of programmes here at the University of Salford.“
The new Knowledge Quad is set to be opened in February.