Top of the class

CLASS ACT: Capital School of English students, from left, Ernesto Perez, Giovanni Passariello, Mohammed Murad, Eri Takayama, Dong Young Kim and Mi So Yoon (partially hidden) with SMD’s business development director Dan Williams, international manager Jane Biddle and major contracts commercial coordinator Iracy Jimenez

Staff at a global construction industry firm went back to the classroom to work with international students at a language school.

Metal decking and concrete specialists SMD Ltd teamed up with Capital School of English for a joint project.

The Poole company known for shaping Britain’s skyline offered work experience with a difference to students at the long-established Bournemouth school.

Six students – from South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela – in their final month at the school, were assigned to SMD’s international division.

They had two weeks to work on a brief to identify two countries to which SMD could export products, as well as highlighting any significant barriers or local considerations which might prevent this.

The students pitched ideas to SMD management at the company’s Tower Park HQ during a presentation session.

SMD business development director Dan Williams said: “We are very much focussed on the overseas market as a growth area – as well as wanting to attract young people into the industry to ease the skills shortage.

“Giving these excellent students exposure to our international division enabled them to get a taste of industry. We also got some great concepts for our export marketing strategy.

“We believe that industry and education should work together in a more joined up approach and would like to thank the team at Capital School of English for making this possible.”

The project was further linked through SMD’s major contracts commercial coordinator Iracy Jimenez who attended Capital School of English when she moved to the UK from Venezuela in 2014.

LINKING EDUCATION AND INDUSTRY: Capital School of English student Ernesto Perez with SMD major contracts commercial coordinator Iracy Jimenez and Capital School of English managing director Spencer Fordham

The school was established in 2003 by managing director Spencer Fordham and his wife Paulina and now welcomes 1,500 students every year.

He said: “It was an absolute pleasure to work with SMD Ltd on our innovative and industry first programme, Future Success.

“The feedback from our students was very positive and the fact they could work side by side with a local business on a real world brief enabled our students to put into practice all they had learnt from the course.

“We are very much looking forward to working with SMD Ltd again very soon.”

SMD celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2017 and employs more than 100 staff at locations across the UK, including Leeds, Nottingham and Glasgow, as well as Dubai and India.

The firm’s floor and roof products have been used in such iconic buildings as the Shard and the Olympic Park in London, Manchester City’s Etihad StadiumCheltenham racecourse and terminals at Heathrow Airport.

Structural Metal Decks (SMD) was founded in 1987 and is based in Poole, Dorset. It designs, manufactures and installs metal decking systems for projects across the world. It employs more than 100 people – some based in India and Dubai. SMD has worked on some of the world’s most iconic buildings, including the Shard and The Olympic Village in London and Manchester’s Etihad Stadium.

  • SMD was named Best Specialist Contractor to Work With (Under £25m) and  awarded a top 10 spot in the Best Specialist Contractor to Work For (Under £25m) category in the 2017 Construction Enquirer awards.
  • The company triumphed in the FASET (Fall Arrest Safety Equipment Training) Excellence of Work Award 2017 for SMD’s high standard of work and health and safety performance on the 40-storey Scalpel building in London, and a highly commended in the Health Safety Training Achievement award.
  • SMD won the Innovation Award in the 2017 Building Safety Group (BSG) Health & Safety Awards and was shortlisted in the Sub-contractor Award and Best Use of Technology Award.
  • For more information contact Cliff Moore at Deep South Media on 01202 534487 or 07469158458.