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Winner takes all in Temporary Works training contest

Building Students enjoy ‘hands on’ learning with MGF.

Two teams of Russell WBHO Building Students went head-to-head at a recent Temporary Works training session, held in partnership with specialist contractor MGF.

While it was neck and neck most of the way, only one team could take the win and it was Team 1, led by Nathan Gollins, who were named the victors.

The team was graded highly on workmanship, housekeeping, and all-round teamwork, leading to great celebrations at the end of an informative and entertaining day.

The contest was part of a CPD event hosted by MGF National Sales Manager Matt Quatrello and Technical Sales Manager Victoria Badnell at their depot in Astley, Cheshire.

The duo started the day with a tutorial looking at case studies of recent temporary works projects, including the support MGF provided Russell WBHO at the recently-completed Municipal Hotel project in Liverpool.

Part of MGF’s scope on the project included a bespoke prop to take excessive weights of loadbearing walls during the Grade II listed refurbishment project.

This proved to be simply an introduction to the session’s main event, a re-enactment by the students themselves. Split into two teams, the students were warned they would be judged not on speed, but on teamwork, housekeeping, workmanship, and safe practices.

“Matt and Victoria provided the Building Students a great insight into the world of temporary works, as well as some case studies from MGF’s portfolio, including a prop used in one of our own schemes,” said site engineer Ryland Howard who helped organise the event.

“After being briefed on the product’s correct usage, the students were briefed that they were going to walk the walk themselves by creating a structural steel support prop from scratch, using only the materials provided materials and a drawing.”

Before the challenge commenced, a lifting gantry had to be erected which Victoria guided the students through, and the lifting gear was fitted.

Ryland continued: “Communication and teamwork were critical to success in this task and all operatives coped well under the pressure. Although the teams took different approaches, they were neck and neck most of the time.

“Relying on their own knowledge of lifting strategies, under the watchful eye of our health and safety specialists Leo Frechou and Darren Williams, Team 2 was actually the first to use the gantry, holding Team 1 to a delay.

“Both teams’ projects were completed to a good standard and in the end Team 1 was judged to have pipped their colleagues to the win.

“Huge thanks to MGF for affording  the students the opportunity to visit the depot. It was a very informative and fun day out for everyone.”

The training session is one of a number of specialist learning opportunities Russell WBHO provides its Building Students throughout their five-year programme. Alongside on-the-job experience, Building Students are also enrolled onto a construction degree at the University of Salford.