Members of VGC’s workforce are playing a key part in the Tideway East and Tideway West projects.
We provide people to fulfil a wide range of roles on both projects. These include groundworkers, slingers, crane supervisors, plant operatives, concrete fixers, carpenters, traffic marshals, multi-skilled operatives and foremen. Most people are local and many have worked on the project since the start.
Our team on Tideway East is working on the heavy civil engineering for the shaft. They received Costain ‘Defining Blue status’ for exceptional performance for the whole of 2019, and also for the second half of 2020.
We have delivered presentations on modern slavery, fairness, inclusion and respect, and mental health, to the workforce. Visiting all Tideway East and West sites over winter 2018 – 2019, wellbeing champion Fiona Dowling and CSR manager Kimberley McGinty have presented to over 250 operatives. We followed these up with presentations by mental wellbeing charity State of Mind Sport. Feedback from the site teams has been very positive.
In June 2018, Kimberley McGinty spent a week on site as part of her role as VGC’s women in construction champion.
Our key influencer at Tideway East, John O’Loughlin, has been complimented by client SHEQ management for his ‘excellent’ safety briefing. John has been a key influencer since December 2017, and is also a trained mental health first aider.
In a recent team review, the client said:
Across the project the overall feeling is that the support and assistance that they receive from the VGC team is always a high standard. The labour provided has been very good, with a few people standing out as assets to your company. Foreman Marx Cox has shown great leadership skills and a willingness to help from the start.
All training requests have been asked for have been accommodated and scheduled with the correct amount of importance to help us maintain programme.
We achieve potential
We are supporting a number of careers initiatives in partnership with the Tideway teams. For example:
- The project kindly allowed our work experience student, Maddy, to see a major construction site.
- We supported an employability skills event at Brixon prison with Tideway West and Key4Life.
- We took part in a jobs and skills fair with Greenwich council in September 2019.
We have ten apprentices on the project. They aim to achieve NVQs in groundwork or occupational work supervision. In addition, we have run training courses including tunnel entry training and confined space training.
In May 2021 CSR manager Kimberley McGinty took part in a Tideway volunteering session at Creekside Discovery Centre in Deptford. The event was a trial as they develop their volunteering programme, part of building a local legacy for the project.
The Thames Tideway project
The new 25km super sewer under the Thames river is due to be completed in 2023. It will replace Sir Joseph Bazalgette’s original sewers, built in the 19th century. They were planned to cope with a population of up to four million people, compared to today’s London population of over nine million.