Triumph for former graduate who designs new £2m Training Academy

Over the last five years, former graduate Reece Roberts has climbed the career ladder, and has put his wealth of knowledge into practice with the design and development of our £2m Training Academy where new recruits will begin their journey.

Impressed by Vital’s sustainability vision and position at the forefront of the industry using renewable technologies, Reece met with a representative at a UCLAN careers fair to find out more about the company, and then joined the graduate scheme in 2015.

Thanks to all the support he’s received, Reece has progressed from a graduate to a Senior Architectural Technologist in a remarkably short time.

From the day he started, Reece has been heavily involved in a number of our big projects, from liaising with the local authorities, designing and developing the proposal, and co-ordinating external contractors on one of the UK’s largest Heat Networks, the £35m Leeds PIPES  project, to the detailed design of The University of Strathclyde’s £20m energy centre overhaul and new district heating network installation.

“I’m lucky enough to have enjoyed all of the projects I’ve worked on so far at Vital. In my current role, I create drawing details, specifications and technical support for construction projects, starting at the design concept stage and working through to operational commencement. I prepare drawings for Building Regulations and planning documentation whilst liaising with the Local Authorities, which allows me to put the theory I learnt at University into practice, and I also collaborate with the M&E disciplines, external contractors, and the key construction requirements of any project, to produce the architectural and structural designs.”

Reece Roberts, Senior Architectural Technologist

Thanks to continued career support he’s received, Reece obtained his Chartership in February 2020, and become a member of the Chartered Institution of Architectural Technologists.

After amassing a wealth of knowledge over the last few years, Reece has reached a point in his career where he’s influencing large scale projects from start to finish, and so he became heavily involved with the design and development of the £2m 600m2 Heat Network Training Academy, a facility which will allow apprentices and existing staff to develop their skills and progress within their own careers.

“This was such an exciting project to be involved in, and it was great to see it through from concept to completion. I feel really proud of the work I’ve put in, and it’s like coming full circle, benefitting those who are in the same position I was when I first started,” said Reece.

“I developed the scheme to a workable Stage 3 design for planning submission, which was later developed to Stage 5 ready for construction, whilst assisting the project team with co-ordination and control of progress on site.

“To meet the conditions for construction, I co-ordinated the design of both mechanical and structural packages throughout the stages of development, working closely with the Planning and Building Control Authorities. I also developed enquiry packages and appraised potential supplier proposals, whilst liaising with the commercial team. This was something I hadn’t done before, but it was great to be involved in this part of the process to broaden my understanding.”

We are committed to helping the UK achieve their net zero ambitions, and after identifying a shortage of skilled specialists within the district heating sector, we developed a state-of-the-art Training Academy to help close the skills gap facing the industry and support the workforce that is set to deliver the UK’s low-carbon future.

The Training Academy aims to be a centre of excellence, and is home to a 60-seater lecture theatre and seminar-style classrooms, providing pioneering demonstrative training resources and collaborative programmes. The Academy also features two purpose-built demonstration trenches, one internal and one external, which will be used to educate students and employees about techniques such as jointing and welding pipes, insulation processes and moisture control.

Take a virtual tour of our Training Academy

We plan to recruit 20 new apprentices in 2021 across all areas of the business, site and office based, from design engineers through to project delivery engineers and operational engineers as well as support service opportunities.

To learn more about apprenticeships and wider opportunities at Vital, please contact [email protected].