Swish Building Products has signed up to support a new project to provide a new home to two Giant Tortoises and give young construction apprentices a leg-up in the industry along the way.
Delivered as part of the national ‘build a bungalow’ scheme 13 students from, the Alfegar Centre, Rugeley, Staffordshire Young Apprentices in Construction program, signed up to build the new reptile ‘des res’ at the Rodbaston campus of South Staffordshire College.
The site includes a small zoo (or animal zone), which is open to the public, housing the five tortoises. Four Sulcata tortoises and a Leopard tortoise now in their 30s and 40s but capable of living to more than 100 years old live at the college. The tortoises’ had started to outgrow their current accommodation which then provided the opportunity for a new build.
Tony Homer, facilitator for the project, explained: “Build a bungalow is a national training scheme for construction apprentices, where they get to apply what they have learnt on their course in the construction of a bungalow or other small building.
“In this case we have been able to partner with South Staffordshire College to build a replacement for an existing enclosure housing five Giant Tortoises.
“For the students, who have now completed their course and are giving up their time for free, it’s been a great opportunity to apply the skills that they have developed in an actual working environment and it’s made a big impression, knowing that what they’re delivering will be there for years to come.”
The project has been funded for the large part through partnerships forged between the college and the construction and building products industry. Swish Building Products offering its support for the scheme by ‘shelling out’ for the supply of fascias and soffits.
Greg Wilde, Swish Building Products, said: “We’re very much committed to working within the local community to support young people through training and their pursuit of a career in construction.“That we’re able to make accommodation more comfortable for Miranda, Samantha, Grumpy, Trouble and Dot makes this one of the more colourful projects to have attracted our support.”