New recruits

I heard about the apprentice scheme through my dad, because Matt and he are friends. I've been on the scheme 5 months now and I really like the people I work with and the physical work. I do a lot of lifting, carrying and walking which keeps me fit and strong.  I’ve become much stronger over the past 5 months, for instance, lifting 21s (the longest tubes) was hard, but now it’s easy.  The hardest thing for me, has been the early morning starts at 7.30am, which will soon be 6.30am. 

Before I started with MK Scaffolding, I was doing labouring for a builder, the days went quickly, but I prefer scaffolding because of the change of scenery; going to different sites such as Rickmansworth, where we’re helping build a new Premier Inn and the other day we were at The Open University putting up scaffolding for the renovation of a church.  We had to lift the kit up on a pully system; rope and wheel, which is the first time I’ve used it. At MK Scaffolding, you’re with different people all the time which keeps it interesting.  Matt gives regular tool-box talks, with this apprenticeship scheme you can train on the job.  I’ll be doing my induction and Part 1 in the next few weeks which I’m really looking forward to.My advice to any new apprentice would be to keep working hard, be safe and do what you’re told because elements of the job are quite dangerous.

(left to right, James Walker, Corey Robertson, Matt Bowler, Jordan Taylor, Matt Legg)

MK Scaffolding Specialists next generation

I saw the ad for young apprentices in Celebrate MK and thought I’d get in touch.  I’ve only been here four weeks, but so far I’ve found it really inspiring as I’ve had the opportunity to work on projects at Chelsea Flower Show and last weekend, helped build the Media Platforms for Trump’s State Visit at Buckingham Palace.

It’s great to be working for a firm that is accredited locally and nationally and run by someone who knows a lot about the business he runs.  The apprentice scheme will allow me to learn the ins and outs of scaffolding and get my part 1 and part 1 qualifications and COTS whilst I work.  I’ve been enrolled in the college and later in the year I will attend a residential in order to progress.

The highlight so far has been working at Buckingham Palace. Not many people can say they’ve been inside or in the grounds.  The first day was a bit hard getting used to the manual labour as the tubes are really heavy and the 6.30am start is the earliest I’ve ever had to get up, but I actually don’t feel tired and actually find I get more out of the day and when I get home I sleep better in the evening.

Everyone at MK Scaffolding is a great laugh and with Matt you can tell he’s got a lot of experience of training scaffolders; you can see how he wants things done and how he runs his business and you can transfer that into how you run your day to day jobs.  There’s an ethos here that you pick up instantly.  The other lads have also explained everything to me in great detail and they know I’m happy to crack on.

Success at the MKBAA Awards

It was a fantastic night of achievement for the MK Scaffolding team and Director, Matt Bowler at this year’s MKBAA awards held at The Marshall Arena, MK Dons Stadium (14 March 2019). Matt received the coveted accolade of Entrepreneur of the Year for being “truly outstanding” in his business ventures. The judges said they were impressed by his ability to “diversify in the face of recession” and create “not one but multiple outstanding businesses" enhancing Milton Keynes and its economy. As well as Entrepreneur of the Year, Matt and his team collected the award for outstanding Design & Creativity for sister company, Vantage Events Structures.

CPC Training at MK Scaffolding

What do a Scaffolder, Apprentice Scaffolder, Senior Manager and Lorry Driver have in common?  At MK Scaffolding they all get the same level of training.

Today we’ve been joined by Paul Andrews from Novadata to take our lads through the Operations Licence Awareness Course (OLAT) which is normally only reserved for managers and lorry drivers. We allow all our staff, including Scaffolders and Apprentices, to take courses such as OLAT, as we feel it’s appropriate for everyone in the company to understand the legal requirements and responsibilities when it comes to HGV haulage.  Sharing the knowledge makes us better equipped to deal with any eventuality and deliver a better service.

Milton Keynes Gallery Project

Built in 1999, MK Gallery has become an important fixture on the UK art world map, showcasing works by local, UK and international artists.

In 2014, 6a Architects won the tender to re-design and expand the gallery adapting existing spaces and creating new ones, such as the addition of three cinemas, a new café and bar and a brand new, state of the art learning centre.

Last year MK Scaffolding won the tender to provide scaffolding for the renovation and building work to be carried out at the gallery and since then has provided scaffold structures including; edge protection for roofs and temporary access staircases.

The expansion of the gallery is now well underway and the new improved version will be open to the public in March 2019.

Below are photos showing the part we’ve played in the building of the new gallery; one of Milton Keynes’ most important cultural landmarks.

Looking Ahead

After a very productive 2018, we’re building on our foundations, with plans for expansion and diversification in 2019.

With the political climate as it is, new markets are on our agenda; such as Oil Rigs, Power Stations, public transport and projects involving the removal of asbestos containing materials.  These new markets will require additional training and licences, which when accredited will make our operatives some of the best trained in the UK.

We’re expanding our base too and are currently looking for a viable yard in North London, from which to operate and so pick up more work in the capital.

2019 is the year we go paperless. We’ve invested in a new software; Smart Scaffolder Console which will automate our pricing and quotations, handovers and inspections, stock take, kit lists, plus has features that tell us the weight of the lorry required for each job.   We can also send customers 3D drawings of their proposed scaffold together with their quotation!

2019 will see us working more closely with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) with whom we have established ties, as we intend to take on and train additional apprentice scaffolders.

Stony Stratford High Street Project

One of our most recent projects has been on our doorstep in Stony Stratford, where the renovation and refurbishment of several Grade II listed buildings has been under-way since 2017. One of the worst fires for centuries saw a 500-year old, three storey-house burn to the ground, taking a part of Stony Stratford’s history with it. The fire damaged the adjoining arcade shops and an adjacent wall collapsed, it was so badly damaged.

Many parties were involved in the rebuilding of the historic town house and adjoining properties, including the Milton Keynes Conservation office.The refurbishment work on the historic arcade was carried out by heritage experts Wilford & Dean and MK Scaffolding was tasked with supplying the scaffold and structures to carry out the careful renovation; which in the adjoining buildings, included rescuing the original fittings and fixtures.

The scaffolding used was extensive and included towers, platforms, birdcages and loading bays.  It was an intricate job spanning nearly eighteen months and requiring excellent team work with our client Wilford & Dean who have done a fantastic job of preserving the listed arcade, which dates back, to the mid-18th century.

Newlands Marina Project

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve been tasked to assist with the construction of a new Facilities Building at the Newlands Inland Marina, which is currently under construction.  The Marina will be the central feature of a new housing development of over 2000 mixed use residences, creating a “high quality urban waterside” which has been awarded to Crest Nicholson.

The Facilities Building which we are working on, will be purpose built to provide showers and laundry facilities for boaters and the marina will provide moorings and a turning area for those boating along the adjacent Grand Union Canal, which extends from London to Birmingham.

The one hundred and seventeen birth Marina and Facilities Building, will be part of a larger development which will include mixed private and social housing and amenities such as restaurants, nursery and pubs.  The new development is scheduled for completion in the Autumn of 2019.

We are now part of the Achilles Family

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve been accepted by the research provider Achilles into their family of gold standard global suppliers.

Achilles is an industry platform which allows customers to cherry pick from the best in the business with complete peace of mind. To become an Achilles member, each company is required to undertake a lengthy application process proving they are eligible and pose a limited risk.

For us, meeting Achilles stringent compliance standards is exciting as it means we can explore new industry sectors including construction, road and rail and public services.  Tendering will now become quicker and more worthwhile as clients have complete confidence in working with us.

As well as the Achilles accreditation, MK Scaffolding are NASC certified and hold all the key Health & Safety and best practice industry certificates.