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
There have – just in the last 15 years never mind the previous 85 – been huge advances in the property industry, be that in construction methods, health and safety, procurement or communications. The list is endless.
Yet, while Deeley has embraced all that change and very much been an early adopter of new initiatives, we are still underpinned by the values passed on from my father: integrity, partnership, community, respect and agility.
Those are all very important elements of what has helped the company thrive. There is no question that agility has proved to be vital in our continued success. We cannot simply create a market, but we can follow one, and we can shape one and I think our history shows that we have done that successfully.
In the 1950s and 1960s, for example, we embraced the expansion of the comprehensive school system and constructed three of the major schools in Coventry and continue to work across primary and secondary education.
But in recent years, we have worked on numerous projects for universities as Higher Education has gone through a similar expansion, gaining an insight to customer needs, keeping ahead of trends and constantly developing our expertise.
Presently we are very strong in the construction and creation of care homes and once again we have developed a significant knowledge and understanding of the sector meaning we are very much partners of our clients.
My father became renowned in the late 1930s and 1940s for building the best air raid shelters in Coventry – he certainly didn’t create that market, but he responded to it!
All of those values I mention also come down to people – and I know that the quality of the team we have always had at Deeley, has been a key to our success.
We work in partnership with other firms of all industry disciplines, and, more often than not, they are on-going relationships many of which stretch back decades. That does not happen without people with integrity and ability.
Deeley has always believed in nurturing talent and that has helped us instil these values over decades. Seeing people develop through every level of the business over the years is a record of unending pride.
Martin – the MD of Deeley Construction – started with us as a trainee straight out of education and now leads a major part of the business. Eleanor – our deputy MD of the Deeley Group – used to open the post on a Saturday morning as an eight-year-old (not that she had much of a choice!).
There are countless examples throughout every sphere of our operations, and it is a major factor in our success.
Like all firms in property and construction, we have had our dark periods, but the quality of our people, the agility we have shown along with our reputation and our professional abilities have seen us through.
They are also the reason why we have responded so well during these dreadful times, to keep working, keep our projects on track and keep our customers satisfied.
Without exception, the Deeley team has embraced the enforced changes and reacted magnificently – and I thank every colleague for that.
So, while reaching our 85th anniversary is a milestone and one to celebrate, we look back only to reflect on qualities which have helped us thrive – and to ensure they will continue to drive the Deeley Group to a successful future.
Leadon Vale will feature a community medical centre, locally run children’s day nursery and a 23,412 sq ft Lidl food store.
It is proposed to be built adjacent to the Old Wharf Industrial Estate, where Leadon Way meets Dymock Road.
Plans for the development include highly sustainable and energy-efficient buildings which respond to the surrounding area, including a green roof on the Lidl store.
This development will create 65 jobs at the nursery and Lidl, alongside 200 jobs during the construction phase.
It will regenerate the existing site and will serve the community, especially those in the south of Ledbury which is seeing sustainable growth with two new residential developments.
The planning application was made following a significant online public consultation where the existing community were encouraged to have their say on the scheme.
It is a hybrid submission – fully detailed for the day nursery and food store, and in outline for the medical centre.
Deeley Group would build the food store and medical centre, while the children’s day nursery would be constructed by Woodlands Nursery Group.
A decision is expected on the planning application in March 2021.
Eleanor Deeley, Deputy Managing Director of the Deeley Group, said: “This is a hugely attractive scheme for the local community and we have had great feedback from our public consultation.
“We believe the proposals for this high-quality development will contribute significantly to the local economy and serve a growing community on the south side of Ledbury.”
To find out more about Leadon Vale visit www.deeley.co.uk/properties/our-developments/leadon-vale/
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.
Andy Street visited St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, part of the Romero Catholic Academy, where he spoke to the children about his role and heard more about how the school has been supporting its local area during a challenging 2020.
He also found out how it has been dealing with the coronavirus outbreak and the measures that have been put in place to help stop the spread of the virus.
Andy was joined in the visit by Eleanor Deeley, deputy managing director of the Deeley Group which has strong links with both the school and the wider Academy.
As part of a tour of St Patrick’s, Andy was shown Martin Curtin Room which was built by the Deeley Group at a highly reduced cost after the company found out that the school was in need of additional space to support some of its most vulnerable children.
The room, named after well-known construction worker Martin Curtin who worked for the Deeley Group for 58 years, has a range of uses including safeguarding meetings and support sessions, parent meetings, interventions and SEN (special educational needs) sessions for the children.
Andrea Sherratt, Principal of St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, said: “It was a privilege to welcome Andy Street to the school and it was lovely to see him speaking to the children about what he does.
“He was also really interested to hear how we have been coping during the pandemic and the measures we have put in place, such as the class bubbles, PPE, reconfiguration of classrooms, the removal of the majority of soft furnishings and our remote learning methods.
“We were also able to show him some of the huge Christmas hampers we have made up for families in need across the area and chat about the work we are doing to support those less fortunate.
“Whenever we ask for donations for worthy causes we’re always overwhelmed by the generosity of our school community so it was excellent for Andy to see this.
“We also spoke to him about how we and the wider Romero Catholic Academy have developed a strong relationship with the Deeley Group. It is a collaboration between two large employers in the city, and they have been hugely supportive of us.
“It was our first time welcoming Andy to the school, and we hope to see him again in the future.”
Andy said: “It was brilliant to visit St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School and meet with a number of children and staff members.
“It has been an extremely challenging year for schools throughout the Midlands and right across the UK, so it was good hear first-hand about how the school has adapted as a result of the pandemic and overcome a number of challenges.
“I was also very interested to hear more about the school’s relationship with the Deeley Group and visit the Martin Curtain Room, an area which is of huge importance at St Patrick’s.
“It’s clear that the school and the company have a very strong sense of community spirit which was excellent to see.”
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.