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Exeter’s new state of the art leisure centre will be the most energy efficient in the UK and opens later this year.

The environmentally friendly leisure centre is designed to save up to 70% on annual energy costs. The pools will have exceptional water quality, with minimal chemical content and the heat generated from the gym will help heat the pools.

Building Greater Exeter supports the local construction sector, focussing on employment and skills and has worked in partnership with Kier Construction to help inspire the future workforce to consider a career in construction and to upskill the current workforce at St Sidwell’s Point.

Employment and Skills

The creation of local jobs, apprenticeships and upskilling of the workforce has all helped to address the construction skills gap, with the SW having the highest annual recruitment requirement in the UK*.

Over 1,000 people have helped to design, construct and deliver this amazing building. During the build there have been 8 jobs created for apprentices, 15 jobs created for new entrants and 1 job created for a graduate. There have been 13 qualifications gained; 7 main contractor and 6 sub-contractors.

As a result of the build there have been 35 work placements; 27 in education (22 T Level students and 5 school placements) and 8 not in education. There have also been over 1,000 Passivhaus Passport completions, with the workforce upskilled on environmentally friendly building practices.

Finally, the social impact generated through skills and employment has been £340,320 and Kier gave 925 hours to support this.

School Engagement

Activities and initiatives with schools, colleges and Career Leads in the Greater Exeter area have helped to inspire the future workforce to consider a career in construction and to address the 6,400 new entrants* required in the SW alone every year.

Building Greater Exeter engaged with schools to promote careers in construction at St Sidwell’s Point, by providing links to the Education Pack from Kier, which has information on the project, environment benefits, healthy designs and careers.

A ten minute video was created to showcase the variety of careers involved in the design and build which has been distributed to schools and viewed over 370 times. In addition a further 11 videos on individuals involved were produced, focussing on each person’s job role, their route into construction and what they enjoy about their job the most.

St Sidwell’s Point has also been promoted to students and Careers Leads at 30 events. The site has also hosted site visits for school Career Leads in the local area and the HotSW Careers Hub, to raise awareness of the many career opportunities in the sector and pass on first-hand knowledge to their students. Kier have also been very involved with Exeter College helping them to deliver their T Level course to students.

Due to COVID-19 the schools have been unable to provide their students with face to face work experience. Building Greater Exeter and our construction partners have created virtual activities and work experience sessions. One of these virtual activities was at The Kings School, where 180 students were informed of roles within construction and given the opportunity to have a live Q&A with the Kier team at St Sidwell’s Point.

Another virtual activity through Speakers for Schools, was supported by Kier who concentrated on the various job roles that have been involved in the creation of St Sidwell’s Point with different schools in the local area attending.

Website / Resources

Building Greater Exeter has a dedicated page on our website for St Sidwell’s Point for anyone wishing to discover more about the different job roles involved in its creation and includes the Education Pack and all the videos. The page is also promoted in other areas of the website such as the Construction Education Hub and Resources for Schools.


Tom Taylor – Assistant Quantity Surveyor

After completing his GCSE’s & A-Levels, Tom decided that an apprenticeship would be a better route for him than University. In September 2017, Tom joined Kier Construction to start his Apprenticeship through Shared Apprenticeships South West and Exeter College.

Tom has recently completed his advanced level technical apprenticeship where he was given the opportunity to try different roles including Site Management, Estimating, Planning and Quantity Surveying.

Tom chose to specialise as a Quantity Surveyor (QS), since completing the two-year course he has been offered a permanent job with Kier Construction and is putting his skills to good practice on St Sidwell’s Point.

Helen Bennett – Assistant Quantity Surveyor

Helen has worked in the industry for over 20 years but hadn’t had the opportunity to formalise her qualifications. Despite the challenge of studying, working and juggling a busy family life, decided to study for her qualification as an apprentice with City College Plymouth.
Taking this step as a mature apprentice, Helen shows her determination to succeed and commitment to the industry and to developing her career further. Helen is now working as part of the team, delivering the £36m Passivhaus Leisure Centre, alongside her studies.

Nathan Stock – Technical Apprentice

Nathan’s journey started in 2019 when he planned to pursue the University path to study Business Management. He had successfully obtained his A-Level grades and offers and had his University selected for September 2019. However, a few weeks prior to enrolment, Nathan started to have doubts about whether this was the correct route for him.

Nathan decided to investigate Apprenticeships, looking specifically into alternatives which linked into his interested of a career path. By doing this, he quickly realised the potential that Apprenticeships offer.

After weeks of research and studying, Quantity Surveying gained his interest, especially with how it aligned with what he foresees as his career path. Nathan is currently working as a Technical Apprentice on site at St Sidwell’s Point.

View Tom, Helen and Nathan’s videos on the website

For further information please contact:

Dawn Chamberlain, Project Manager, Building Greater Exeter:

*Source Construction Skills Network 2021-2025 Forecast south_west.pdf (
Information correct at 15 July 2021