The company has always been a strong believer in breeding its own workforce through apprenticeships and training and it is a policy which has served the company extremely well through the years and continues to do so.
I should know. I started with the firm in 1988 (when I was, obviously, very young!) straight from school. I had not done as well as I wanted in my A Levels so therefore did not go straight to university but joined Deeley as I wanted to be a quantity surveyor.
I could not have made a better decision. In the intervening years I studied for my ONC in Building Studies at Coventry College and then my HNC at Coventry University before doing a degree in Quantity Surveying at what was then the University of Central England.
I then went on to earn my professional qualifications MRICS and MCIOB to complete my training.
Through all that time I was working at Deeley, gaining hands-on practical experience that, for me, made learning the theory so much more relatable.
I am not alone. Around 25 per cent of our workforce has been taken on through an apprenticeship or trainee programme. We find that it allows us to teach them the “Deeley Way” helping to shape what they learn to not only give them a thorough grounding but to also improve our all-round capability.
Our colleagues also enjoy working with younger people and passing on the skills they have learned while working for us, while apprentices tend to stay longer with an employer than other staff.
Currently 15 per cent of Deeley Group’s employees are in an apprenticeship or undergoing further learning programmes, so it is a trend which continues and impacts positively on every part of the group’s operations.
We currently have trainees on site, in accounts, and in marketing, while several of our senior team have come through the ranks after starting as trainees.
Even last year in the depths of the pandemic we took the bold step to recruit two new management trainees having previously engaged with their school and offering them work experience the year before. Only today, I have had a Teams meeting with Jack and Tom to review their progress – it so encouraging to see their passion to learn and progress through the company and it took me back to 1988!!
February 8 sees the start of National Apprenticeship Week, and while activities will be limited by Covid restrictions, it an important initiative – important for young people to realise what an apprenticeship or traineeship can lead to, and important for companies to tap into the rich vein of potential talent which can serve them well.
By Martin Gallagher, Managing Director, Deeley Construction
Built Environment Skills in Schools (BESS) recently launched the new virtual work experience platform – with traditional work experience likely to remain disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic for the foreseeable future.
Deeley Group has added a new task to the on-demand service which allows pupils to access real-world built environment tasks at any time.
By adding a task to the service, the company is supporting the Government’s BuildBackBetter commitment to showcase the industry to young people over the next decade.
The short task which can be completed from home showcases a project that demonstrates local redevelopment and the challenges of effective site management.
Edward Hudson, Business Development Manager at Deeley Group, said: “We were excited to create a 45-minute virtual work experience task that students all around the UK can complete in their own time and learn more about the work we do.
“We are so proud of the exciting and complex projects we deliver for our clients, but sometimes it can be difficult to explain what we do to young people.
“We work closely with a number of schools based near our construction sites and will be looking to engage with the easy and fun task we have creative, which we hope goes some way to painting a picture of what it is like to work in the construction industry.
“BESS has built a great platform to support their extensive network of schools, and it was a no-brainer for us to use our own in-house skills and expertise to develop a challenging student task.”
Kathryn Lennon-Johnson, founder of BESS, said: “It’s such an honour to have a respected business like Deeley Group supporting this initiative.
“Our on-demand virtual work experience platform allows young people to explore the construction industry at their own pace while ensuring they are completely safeguarded.
“Creating new housing and retail is such an important investment for communities, and allowing young people to be part of a real project helps to bring the industry to life.”
The BESS on-demand Virtual Work Experience platform is promoted into more than 4,000 UK senior schools and offers unrestricted use by students.
The BESS platform is available at www.virtualworkexperience.beskillsinschools.co.uk
The Deeley Group Platform is also available here Virtual Work Experience Task.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, paid a visit to the site of the former Dartmouth School in Wyken which is being re-developed by Coventry-based family firm the Deeley Group for leading housing provider Stonewater.
The Mayor met with Peter Deeley, managing director of the Deeley Group which is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, at the site and learned about the plans to build 39 new homes, including 23 affordable rented and 16 shared ownership properties.
It had been a redundant brownfield site for more than five years before Stonewater bought it from Coventry City Council.
On completion it will feature a mix of two, three and four-bedroom houses and provide vital housing to the local community.
Andy Street praised the firm’s plans to regenerate the site and that the project aligns perfectly with his region-wide championing of a brownfield first approach to housing.
He said: “The two key components for building new homes in our region are for developments to be ‘brownfield first’ and then also affordable to the people who live in those areas.
“The development in Coventry ticks both of those boxes and is an example of the great progress we are making regionally to meet the housing challenge.
“It was fascinating to speak with Peter Deeley and hear about the extensive work the company has done in this area of Coventry over the last 85 years and the strong relationship they have with the community here.
“I congratulate the Deeley Group and Stonewater for bringing this project to fruition and look forward to seeing it at its completion and serving the local community.”
Deeley Group has a history of development in the area, building St John Fisher Catholic Primary school in the 1950s and St John Fisher Church and Hall in the 1970s.
Peter Deeley, managing director of the Deeley Group, added: “We are giving this redundant brownfield site a new life and helping to provide crucial new housing for people in the locality too.
“It was a pleasure to welcome Andy to Tiverton Road to discuss our plans for the site and how that will support his housing programme across the West Midlands.
“We are working closely with Stonewater to deliver the development and hope Andy will return to visit when the project is completed.”
Matt Crucefix, director of development (South and West) at Stonewater, said: “There is a genuine need for more housing of this type in Coventry and it has been a pleasure working with the Deeley Group to bring this scheme to life.
“With every new development, we look for ways to invest in the local economy – by working with local contractors and suppliers – to ensure we add as much value to the community as possible.
“We’re delighted to hear Andy is pleased with the progress of this site so far and look forward to welcoming him to the completed scheme along with our new residents, later this year.”
PICTURE CAPTION: Andy Street and Peter Deeley.
The ASSURED CAV Parking facility will be used by HORIBA MIRA to create a realistic, controlled setting for testing automated parking technology, further cementing the Midlands at the forefront of automotive innovation.
The facility was developed in partnership with Coventry University as part of the Trusted Intelligent Parking project, and forms part of HORIBA MIRA’s wider ASSURED CAV ecosystem – a first-of-its-kind location for developing connected and autonomous vehicles, set to open in March 2021.
The parking facility is located on HORIBA MIRA’s existing City Circuit test facility and its completion marks the 10th project Deeley Construction has worked on at HORIBA MIRA.
Deeley Construction has created a multi-storey car park consisting of three levels with off highway and on highway parking to replicate different types of car parking at the facility.
The parking areas will be co-located in the HORIBA MIRA City Circuit, a safe, comprehensible and fully controllable purpose-built ‘cityscape’ test track environment, allowing verification of the transition from an urban driving environment into a dedicated parking facility.
The facility will be supported by a ‘digital twin’ so users can replicate parking scenarios in simulation, enabling a wide range of CAV driving and parking scenarios to be tested in a virtual environment before being validated at the facility.
Car passengers will exit their vehicle, for it to then find its own parking space, returning to the passenger at a designated waiting area when requested.
Work has been completed during the Covid-19 pandemic with social distancing measures in place on site.
Martin Gallagher, managing director of Deeley Construction, said: “This has been a fascinating project to work on and we’re proud to be part of a project that could prove vital in automotive development over the coming years.
“Our site team have been working on site for the past six months and have ensured works didn’t disrupt the day-to-day operations at HORIBA MIRA. Despite the pandemic and the challenges it brings, we have delivered the development on time and on target.
“The development continues a 10-year strong association between HORIBA MIRA, MIRA Technology Park and Deeley Construction. We look forward to working in partnership with them on further developments in the future.”
Declan Allen, managing director of HORIBA MIRA, said: “We’re very pleased to see construction complete on our new ASSURED CAV Parking facility, despite a challenging year Deeley delivered the project to the highest standards, on time and to budget.
“The facility is a key pillar within our wider ASSURED CAV ecosystem which is due to open next year and will help to ensure the next generation of connected and autonomous vehicles are safe and secure.”
PICTURE CAPTION: From left to right – Martin Gallagher and Declan Allen.
Brackley Care home has been completed by Deeley Construction and marks Kingsley Healthcare’s 31st care service.
The home, in Wellington Road, has 66 modern en-suite bedrooms, a cinema room, library, café, hairdressing salon, quiet lounges and conservatory while attractive outside spaces include a sensory garden.
The striking, contemporary design is the work of award-winning Leamington Spa-based Rickett Architects.
Eleanor Deeley, deputy managing director of the Deeley Group, said: “It is excellent to see this development now completed and great that the feedback from visitors to the new care home has been so overwhelmingly positive.
“We have a proven record of delivering quality developments across the healthcare sector and the Brackley care home joins the growing list of successful projects.
“Our team has worked in partnership with Kingsley throughout to deliver this scheme, which is of great benefit to people in the area and will also create a significant number of jobs locally.”
South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom and the Mayor of Brackley, Cllr Christopher Cartmell, were given VIP tours ahead of the first residents’ arrival – and both said how impressed they were with the home’s facilities and decor.
Other guests of honour included Emma McGowan, alumni and community relations manager at Winchester House school, who runs the Brackley Community Dementia Friendly Choir.
The home’s dementia unit has been named the McGowan Suite, honouring her valuable community work through the choir.
Pupils from the school have presented the home with a colourful piece of artwork which will take pride of place in the Maypole Café, a relaxed meeting place for families near the front entrance.
Home manager Sheena Croston added: “I am thrilled by the positive feedback I have had from everyone who has visited the home.
“Once Covid has gone away, we will be eager to build even stronger relationships with local groups and organisations and invite them into the home. It is important for us and our future residents that the home becomes a central part of the community.”
Muj Malik, Kingsley’s chief investment officer, said: “We are looking forward to serving the community of Brackley. The home will be a great anchor for us to grow in the Midlands. I am incredibly proud of our team who have got the home ready to welcome our first residents at such a difficult time.”
Brackley Care Home is one of an exciting pipeline of next generation nursing homes Kingsley is rolling out across the country as part of its Vision 2025 – with a further unit planned in Olney in neighbouring Buckinghamshire.
Daya Thayan, CEO of Kingsley, rated a top 20 large care home group by review site carehome.co.uk, said: “We are proud to be a family-owned company and have guarded our family values as we have grown. Every one of our homes has to be of a standard that we would want for our own family.
“In addition to providing luxury care facilities, Brackley Care Home is also delivering well-paid jobs from senior managers and nurses to chefs, support workers, maintenance and housekeepers.
“In Sheena, we have an experienced home manager with a superb track record, and she is being supported by a great team.”
Aviator House, situated on the former Haddenham Airfield, has been delivered by Midlands-based Deeley Construction in partnership with Henry Davidson Developments.
The development features 17 high-specification apartments, a Co-Operative store and Bright Horizons Day Nursery & Pre School.
Deeley Construction and Henry Davidson Developments have completed the construction during the Covid-19 pandemic and the development is set to bring economic and social benefits to Haddenham and the surrounding area.
Steve Turner, construction director at Deeley Construction, said: “We are delighted to have delivered this development in partnership with Henry Davidson Development. The project is quite different in the fact that it has been constructed with a steel frame for the commercial element, with a two-storey timber frame for the apartments above.
“Our team have been working on site to complete the construction to the high-quality standard we pride ourselves on and we are sure that the project will bring great benefits for the community in Haddenham, all whilst adhering to our new social distancing procedures.
“There is a thriving and growing community in Haddenham, with a range of other housing developments being completed in the area, and Aviator House will be a fantastic addition to the area’s offering.”
Richard Croft, director of Henry Davidson Developments, added: “This development is providing desirable homes and services that will benefit not only the new residents here but the existing and developing community in the area.
“We have strong experience in delivering high quality mixed-use developments of this type and it has been great to work with Deeley Construction to make Aviator House a reality.”
The apartments are being marketed by agents Breckon & Breckon and have already received strong interest from buyers with more than 50 per cent of the properties already sold to first time buyers and investors.
Aviator House benefits from being perfectly positioned in the commuter belt, with easy access to the M40, Haddenham and Thames Parkway Station and regular rail services to London, Birmingham and Bicester Village.
Sophie Kennard, new homes adviser at Breckon & Breckon, said: “There has been great interest in this development and it’s continuing to grow, not stemmed by the recent lockdown.
“We’re already seeing the first residents move in to their new homes, many who will be commuting into London. The apartments each have their own individual balconies and coupled with the green space nearby this has proved popular with people moving out of the city.
“Initially we had a lot of interest from first-time buyers and now we’re seeing more investors too, it’s a great opportunity to purchase high-quality property within the commuter belt.”
The accolade, for best practice in health and safety, was presented to Deeley Construction by BSG at the company’s George House headquarters in Coventry.
Keith Galletly, Health and Safety Manager at Deeley Construction, said: “We are naturally very proud to have won a BSG Award for best practice in health and safety for our region. I would like to congratulate every member of our team who contributed to this renowned achievement.”
Stephen Bell, Managing Director at BSG added: “BSG would like to commend Deeley Construction for its outstanding contribution to health and safety by introducing measures that have helped to keep their employees and workplaces free of injury and ill health. This was an exceptional achievement.”
The BSG Awards is a national celebration of businesses’ dedicated commitment to Health and Safety in construction. Over 800 members from across the UK, were considered for a BSG award. To view the fill list of winners please view the following page online: BSG Health & Safety Awards 2020.
PHOTO CAPTION: From left to right – Mick Byrne (BSG), Keith Galletly (Deeley Construction) and Steve Turner (Deeley Construction).