Alex the Apprentice plays his part in creating Alconbury Weald


Alconbury Weald has welcomed its first apprentice to the site – as part of the flagship Incubator Building.

Alex Snooks, 20, from Stretham, Cambridgeshire, has been working with local firm Gowing and Hunt to fit the plumbing and sustainable water systems to the £2.3million build being led by Kier.

Alex started his apprenticeship with Gowing and Hunt in February, and has spent the last few months learning in the classroom, and on another Kier project in Cambridge.

“This has been the first time I’ve been responsible for setting in place some of the plumbing systems which we hope will be in place for the lifetime of the building. That is quite a responsibility, but there is great support here from the team to ensure I am able to apply what I’ve learnt in the classroom into real situations. It’s been hard work so far but enjoyable and a chance to work on the latest technologies on things like rainwater harvesting systems, and to do that as part of a team with other colleagues and other companies.

Alex, whose apprenticeship is supported by Cambridge Regional College, is on a 3 year apprenticeship – which can be extended to enable him to continue his studies in plumbing, heating and ventilation.

Richard German, the project manager for Kier added:

“Apprenticeships are a really good way to learn both the technical and practical aspects of any trade and to get some real life experience of life in a construction team. Some of the areas Alex is working on – in low carbon ventilation and sustainable water systems -  are going to be in huge demand both on this development and across the local area over the coming years. Kier – both directly and through subcontractors – have numerous apprentices working on our sites at all levels of experience and across a variety of different trades. We find it a great way to keep investing in skills, make sure everyone keeps up to date with latest technologies and also enables us to identify good workers – like Alex.”

The apprenticeship was part of a contractual agreement between site developers Urban&Civic and Kier, whereby as part of building the Incubator, Kier committed to  a series of  training and skills support throughout the build. Other areas they have delivered during the build include a tour of the site with local construction students from Huntingdonshire Regional College and supporting community projects.

Tim Leathes, Project Director for site owners and developers Urban&Civic, said :

“We are working with local partners and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to make apprenticeships and other jobs and training opportunities for local people a core part of the build out of Alconbury Weald. It is great to welcome Alex to the site, as the first of what we hope will hundreds of apprentices that learn their trade on Alconbury Weald”

The Incubator Building offers flexible space for small businesses and will be available from January 2014. Further information from and clicking on the Enterprise Campus pages or by calling the Campus office on 01480 413141. 


Rebecca Britton, Urban&Civic, Alex Snooks the apprentice, with Richard German from Kier and Tim Leathes, Urban&Civic