To Uni For Construction Degrees

The government subsidised Degree Apprenticeship schemes are proving popular with one of the region’s leading consulting civil and structural engineers.   Louis Cornell who started with Romsey based WFBA 2 years ago as a Trainee Technician, has spent one day a week with Solent University to gain a HNC with distinction for Civil Engineering and will now also start a 4 year University Degree Apprenticeship at Portsmouth.  He will be joined by Civil Technicians Sam Wicks and John Comer, who have been part of the Civil Engineering team for 4 years and all aiming to become Chartered Engineers. 

 WFBA Directors Nick Groves and Steve Hollick, welcomed Omar Lakhssassi the Business Development Executive for Degree Apprenticeships at the University, to meet the team which included some former Portsmouth University students who are now fully qualified and supporting the successful and expanding £1.60m business that provides essential support to construction projects within a broad range of market sectors which include Commercial, Marine, Residential, Education, Hotel and Leisure, and Refurbishment.

 “We are pleased to help the University of Portsmouth promote the subsidised Degree Apprenticeship schemes that need to be embraced more by the construction industry.  There is now no real excuse to complain about the lack of opportunity to increase the pool of suitably qualified people when businesses are only required to make a 5% contribution or their apprenticeship levy, which is very cost efficient for both employer and the employee who pay no fees,” said Steve Hollick.

 The government currently subsidise 95% of Apprentice course fees for non levy payers, so companies could sponsor a full degree for as little as £2500 to attend one day a week courses at University of Portsmouth to become chartered engineers. Omar Lakhssassi recently attended the Southern Construction and Property Breakfast Club to meet leaders in the industry to promote the message.

 “From our point of view, the incentive to upskill our engineering team is very strong and we are impressed with the syllabus, course content and the high standard of the lecturers we have met at the University,” said Steve Hollick. 

Any company requiring more information on Degree Apprenticeships can contact omar.lakhssassi@port.ac.uk

 

(front from left) Louis Cornell, Steve Hollick, Omar Lakhssassi, John Comer (Top left) Nick Groves with Sam Wicks.

 
 

Family Tickets Won at the Southern Construction and Property Breakfast Club

 

WFBA director Nick Groves presenting the prize to Andy Gibbs of Foreman Homes.

 

Nick Groves, (pictured left) Director from consulting civil and structural engineers WFBA presented Andy Gibbs, Land Buyer from Southampton based Foreman Homes a family ticket to the Paultons Family Theme Park, the home of Peppa Pig World. The presentation was made at the Southern Construction and Property Breakfast Club, an event that  WFBA co-sponsors held at the Portsmouth Marriott hotel. 

The family ticket was the prize for a business card draw at the event which had a guest list of 90 people. 

WFBA have provided an ongoing consultancy for The Paultons Family Theme Park since 2014

New Directors Appointed

Bill Brown and Nick Groves, founding Directors of Romsey based WFBA consulting civil and structural engineers, have promoted from within and appointed 3 new Directors to the company.   Alastair Craig joined the consultancy 3 years ago as a Technical Director and has now been appointed a Director.  Alastair is also the current Regional Chairman of the Institution of Structural Engineers.  Brian Morton and Patrick Fisher have been promoted to Technical Directors to help manage the now 32 strong team of qualified professionals and support staff.

 “We are delighted to offer these promotions to ensure the foundations of WFBA remain strong and are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead” said Bill Brown.  “We now have an experienced and dynamic leadership team that are well prepared to take the business forward through the next phases of our development, we are very optimistic about the future”

 The company has just entered its 25th year and has achieved it highest recorded annual turnover since its creation. Clients of the business operate across a broad range of market sectors which include Commercial, Residential, Education, Hotel and Leisure, Refurbishment, Marine and Compliance/Expert Witness.

 

(From Left) Bill Brown, Brian Morton, Alastair Craig, Patrick Fisher and Nick Groves

 

WFBA's football team get off to a flying start in the aid of a local charity

The WFBA football team was back in action again last week, this time partaking in an AECOM sponsored charity football tournament in the aid of ‘Friends of PICU’ where a total of £654 was raised by the 19 competing teams including AECOM, Morgan Sindall Construction, Stride Treglown, TNG Consulting and well as many others.

The WFBA team which consisted of Yousef Al Hilly, John Comer, Louis Cornell, Fabio Parisi, Bruce Harper, Sam Wicks and Ed McDade got off to a flying start with a 4-2 victory but were eventually eliminated by TNG Consulting on goal difference.

The ‘Friends of PICU’ charity was started by parents of children who have been cared for in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Southampton University Hospital. Friends of PICU works to provide vital equipment and services to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Southampton University Hospital that is not always provided by the statutory authorities. For more infomation visit friendsofpicu.org.uk or click here to donate.

 

WFBA’s Football team in action at the AECOM sponsored charity football tournament in the aid of ‘Friends of PICU’

 

The UK’s number one family theme park, Paultons Park, has announced details of a major new world of attractions which will open to the public in May next year.

WFBA are proud of their involvement with Paultons Park's most recent addition ‘Tornado Springs’ a creative imagining of a Midwest desert resort town set in the American heyday of the 1950’

WFBA is a Romsey based Civil and Structural Engineering company which has been working alongside Paultons Park for several years on attractions such as Lost world and Peppa Pig World

For more information ‘Tornado Springs’ click here

For more information on past WFBA projects click here

 

WFBA are proud of their involvement with Paultons Park's most recent addition ‘Tornado Springs’.

 

Highest Turnover Achieved

Currently reaching their highest recorded turnover to date (exceeding £1.60m) with a fantastic range of construction projects to work on, Nick Groves, one of the founding directors of Romsey based WFBA consulting civil and structural engineers, expects the construction industry to remain buoyant in the south once the reality of Brexit and the implications are known.  He is confident that most of the projects delayed by some investors will be given the green light for construction once positivity is regained.

 “Our investment in qualified people has continued and we now have our largest team since the business started in 1995, currently numbering 32 with an additional 2  engineers to join next month.  The demand we are facing is from many market sectors including Commercial (office, retail, manufacturing and warehousing) , Residential, Education, Hotel and Leisure, Refurbishment and Marine related projects, and as our capability has expanded so has the scale of the projects we are able to handle.”

 Despite the pressures on available land, WFBA has consulted on more residential projects this year for companies including Bargate Homes, McCarthy and Stone and Travelodge across Southern England, as well as projects for Port and Marine owners, including ABP and MDL. The company also provides independent forensic investigations to determine if mistakes have been made, either during the design or construction phases of a  project when it has become subject to a legal dispute.

 The professional team at WFBA continue to play a major part within the Southern Regional Group of The Institution of Structural Engineers and support the work of Portsmouth University as it encourages apprenticeship degrees within many sectors of the construction industry.

 
Nick Groves, one of the founding directors of Romsey based WFBA consulting civil and structural engineers

Nick Groves, one of the founding directors of Romsey based WFBA consulting civil and structural engineers

 

Latest recruit to the cycle club inducted!

An early morning introduction ride for our latest member of the club, Eddy Byfield.  Eddy is our summer placement student from Portsmouth University and only started on Monday but was keen to join in.  A very small party this morning with Patrick Fisher and Nick Groves taking Eddy around the short induction route.

 

WFBA Cycle Club members (left to right) Nick Groves, Eddy Byfield and Patrick Fisher

 

Tour de France Route Cyclist Brian Fundraises for Prostate Cancer

Its only 4 years since Brian Morton, 52 from Totton started to keep fit by entering cycling events across the UK, now he is to participate in the Grande Depart Classic on the 29th June which uses 120 miles of the imminent Tour De France route from Brussels.  Brian, encouraged by fellow cyclists and colleagues at Romsey based consulting civil and structural engineering company WFBA is targeting to raise at least £1000 through sponsorship for Prostate Cancer UK.    

“This will be a challenge for me as the furthest I have tackled to date is 100 miles in the Midlands Velo in May.  I’m told the route is reasonably ‘flat’ so that should help me cover the extra 20 miles,” said Brian Morton.

 Nick Groves, fellow cyclist and Managing Director of WFBA, said that the company will sponsor Brian with £250 on top of individual sponsorships from his colleagues and contacts within the construction industry.

 “We are keen to promote a happy and healthy workplace to fight against the stress and challenges of the busy company. Alongside cycling we also have a 5-A-Side football team which competes regularly against other businesses within the construction industry,” said Nick Groves.

 Anyone wishing to support Brian and donate to Prostate Cancer UK can visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/brian-morton67

 

(left to right) Steve Hollick, Yousef Al Hilly, Brian Morton, Nick Groves and Patrick Fisher.

 

Degree Apprenticeships Encouraged

The government subsidised Degree Apprenticeship schemes need to be embraced more by the construction industry in the region according to Steve Hollick, the Technical Director of Romsey based consulting civil and structural engineering firm WFBA.  Degree Apprentice schemes are available for a multitude of professions within the industry and only require a 5% contribution from most SME companies, which is very cost efficient for both employer and employee (who pay no fees!).  WFBA are taking the opportunity to support 2 part time degree students from their team this year to attend one day a week courses at University of Portsmouth to become chartered engineers.  Steve Hollick and his fellow directors are also encouraging their industry contacts to discuss the options offered with Omar Lakhssassi, Business Development Executive for Degree Apprenticeships at the University.

 “From our point of view, the incentive to upskill our engineering team is very strong and we are impressed with the syllabus, course content and the high standard of the lecturers we have met at the University,” said Steve Hollick.  “We co-host the Southern Construction and Property Breakfast Club and so actively encourage Omar to meet many of the leading construction industry decision makers to help get the importance of the degree apprenticeships that benefit the industry.”

 Omar Lakhssassi is hoping to raise awareness that the government currently subsidise 95% of Apprentice course fees so companies could sponsor a full degree for as little as £2500.

 “We are committed to giving support to the industry through courses covering Project Management, Quantity Surveying, Architecture and  Civil Engineering.  There should be no excuse not to enhance the skills of the region’s construction industry professionals,” said Omar Lakhssassi.

 WFBA has supported the University’s Architectural Students on a monthly basis with Alastair Craig, who is a Technical Director and also Chairman of the Southern Regional Group of The Institution of Structural Engineers by providing practical advice on design projects.   WFBA also encourages any students interested in a career in Civil Engineering to visit their offices to meet their team of 25 professionals to get a greater understanding of the work involved on projects on a day to day basis.

 Any company requiring more information on Degree Apprenticeships can contact omar.lakhssassi@port.ac.uk

 

 

Omar Lakhssassi with Steve Hollick at the University of Portsmouth

 

Vacancies for Structural Engineers May 2019

 
WFBA We're Hiring_Page_1.jpg

Due to our continuing success in winning exciting projects, WFBA are seeking Structural Engineers to join our team in Braishfield. We have a varied portfolio of work across a range of industry sectors, including Education, Healthcare, Residential, Commercial, Retail and Marine. If you have a proactive, solution focused approach to design and are interested in joining a dynamic and growing organisation this opportunity could be for you.

Structural Engineers

We are currently seeking 2 Structural Engineers who can ideally design in most structural materials. You should have a proven ability to work alone but with supervision commensurate with experience. You must have a good relevant degree minimum 2:1 and above (Structural or Civil Engineering) or an equivalent qualification and have a minimum of 2 - 4 years UK based Consultancy experience

As part of the Structural Engineering team, you will be responsible for undertaking structural design, calculations and drawings for a wide range of projects using all structural materials. You must be well organised, have good communication skills, work well in a team and have the ability to coordinate effectively with other disciplines.

Positions available

• Graduate Structural Engineer (grad+2 min)

• Structural Engineer (grad+4 min)

Please enquire further or submit your CV to Nick Groves at nick.groves@wfba.co.uk

 

WFBA Supports Polystar to go up

A long established industrial area in Northam would probably go unnoticed by many people travelling in Southampton were it not for a modern factory unit with the Polystar Plastics logo above the other buildings in the area. That dominating image reflects the fact that since 1993, the family owned Polystar Plastics founded by Sue and Jai Talwar has expanded on the estate to become a £30m turnover manufacturer employing 160 people. Twelve of the units on the estate are already owned by the company that is now facing the next challenge as a consequence of their success and continued growth. With a 10% year on year increase over the last 5 years, they need to invest in a more streamlined production approach to maximise productivity.

Bill Brown, Director of the Romsey based consulting civil and structural engineering company WFBA, has been assisting Polystar’s Commercial Director Suchin Talwar since 2013 to change the way the existing buildings can be used, through modification, enhancement and expansion. “I admire the commitment to the workforce and the current range of buildings on the site. Many businesses would consider relocating, but Suchin and the family prefer the idea of developing the site to become a more efficient and productive operation. On a congested site, this often means that the only way is up, literally ‘raising the roof’!”

The current proposals under development include a new central raw materials product storage facility and additional process equipment. This will involve major investment on both production and factory construction of £7m and will take between 12 - 18 months to complete. Suchin Talwar knows that by developing the site, Polystar Plastics will have the opportunity to maximise production for their expanding client base of international organisations using machinery that can produce products at a high quality with less wastage.

“We can also keep employment within the area and will have the space to continue our closed loop recycling process that we offer clients and conduct research and development on potential innovations that will reduce wastage and costs within the industries we serve.”

The Talwar family admit that the strong and honest relationship with WFBA enables them to be more confident in their development plans, especially as the projects are self-funded by re investing.

“We appreciate Bills approach and have confidence in his suggestions as experience has shown us he advises the most viable and cost efficient construction solutions to reach the same height as our ambitions, particularly where we need taller buildings to accommodate the new plant and faster machines,” said Suchin.

The expertise of the WFBA Civils team will also be needed on this site to resolve local drainage issues. They are currently assigned to projects including the recently opened Brockhurst Gate Retail Park Gosport where they designed a cost-effective sustainable drainage solution, site wide infrastructure upgrades and operational facilities for Associated British Ports in Southampton and Lowestoft. The team are also involved in early stages of feasibility and reconfiguration of other large-scale operations in the region, improving plant/traffic flow, maintenance and storage facilities plus associated office space to secure, support and develop business both nationally and worldwide.

Visit www.wfba.co.uk for information.

 
(from left)  Jai Talwar with WFBA’s Bill Brown

(from left) Jai Talwar with WFBA’s Bill Brown

 

Ocean Cruise terminal Modifications, Southampton

Excellent progress being made both inside the terminal building and to the external areas in preparation for the next generation of larger ships arriving in 2020. The current phase of the upgrade work will be completed in sufficient time to ensure the terminal is operational for the coming 2019 season.

Firms Fitness Initiative Creates Football Team

If you work for a civil and structural engineering consultancy, there is a high probability that most of the working day is spent seated using an IT system.  Being keen to promote a happy and healthy workplace, Directors at the Romsey based consultants WFBA have encouraged their staff to form a 5-A-Side football team which competes regularly against other businesses within the construction industry.   

“It’s a great way of offering a challenge to the guys to get away from their desks and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. The football has become a weekly team building exercise with us training together and playing monthly competitive matches,” said Technical Director Steve Hollick, who used to play as a semi pro goalkeeper and is a former goalkeeping coach and manager for AFC Totton. 

The matches also act as a networking opportunity.  “It’s a superb way for the younger members of staff to meet their contemporaries from other companies we work with and put a face to a name.” said Steve.  “The WFBA team have enough players to challenge teams at 5, 6 or even 7 a-side and are able to travel to matches to suit our opposition, but normally the games are hosted around the Southampton area.” 

With spring approaching, the formation of a cycle team is now in progress so that other members of the company can participate using their rural office location as a base to enjoy the Hampshire lanes and countryside. 

Any business wishing to play against the WFBA team can contact Steve.Hollick@wfba.co.uk

 
 

A better way to start a Friday?

What better way to start a Friday than a little outing around the Test Valley with the ever expanding WFBA Cycling Club. A chilly start but some stunning scenery in the early morning sun greeted the Peloton which welcomed Jamie Harper for his first outing along with Steve Hollick, Patrick Fisher, Nick Groves and yours truly.

#cycling #scenery #structuralengineering #WFBA

 

Left to Right: Brian Morton, Steve Hollick, Nick Groves, Patrick Fisher and Jamie Harper

 

Travelodge site in Portsmouth is coming along nicely!

Construction of the new Travelodge in Portsmouth is progressing well.

The cores have been completed up to 10th Floor and the steel frame has been erected around the tower up to 7th Floor.

The steelwork erection has been complicated up to this point due to site restrictions, but now we are away from the concrete core area, it should progress rapidly to the point of starting to deck out the lower floors within the next couple of weeks.

Having a blast!!

#WFBA #cycling club taking full advantage of the milder weather this morning for a quick blast around the Test Valley area. Today’s peloton included Brian Morton, Patrick Fisher, Alastair Craig and the Birthday boy Steve Hollick.

#WFBA #cycling #structuralengineering #itsfriday

 

Left to right: Brian Morton, Steve Hollick, Alastair Craig and Patrick Fisher