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GC House plays ‘key role’ in future of the industry

2 February 2018

In spring 2016, Gloucestershire College became the first UK college to buy a house as a renovation project for its students, in order to further develop their skills and provide them with practical experience of working on-site.

Fast forward two years and two successful renovations later, and we’re on track to complete our third house this summer. But we couldn’t have made it this far without the help and support from local businesses such as Severnside Scaffolding, who have been with us from the start. 

The first renovation project, based on Tredworth Road in Gloucester, required considerable roofing work but was difficult to access due to being a terraced property on a busy road with no driveway or parking, and having no access via back garden either. Project Manager, Rachael Capener, approached Severnside Scaffolding to see if they could help and it was General Manager, Dave Packer, who saved the day. 

He said: “I was keen to get involved in this project because it was such an innovation. I discussed various options with Rachael and we constructed a bespoke design scaffold for the Tredworth property. 

“We have tried to support this project as much as possible. I have worked with Rachael to ensure students have had safe access, where required, and that safety checks were carried out regularly. We have a wealth of knowledge in working at height and safe access, and our advice and expertise is always available to the College, as well as the odd bit of scaffolding to help out.” 

Dave, who has years of experience in the trade – and the qualifications to prove it – says that training and on-the-job learning has been key to his progression. 

He said: “The majority of skills required to work in any trade cannot be gained in a classroom. You must learn to overcome unexpected problems and techniques that come with experience on site. The GC House project provides students with a fantastic platform for on-the-job training and experience of real working life, whilst being in a safe learning environment.” 

He has been impressed with GC students so far and says their engagement and investment in the project are “encouraging for the next generation of tradesmen.” 

“Our industry is desperately short on experienced tradesmen. This is a nationwide problem and I’m sure any contractor will agree. Clients are continually commenting on being unable to get work done due to the lack of tradesmen; this is delaying build works throughout the country. Projects such as the GC House are playing a key role in the future of our industry. 

“Severnside Scaffolding recognises the importance of the GC House. Rachael and the team have done an excellent job running the project and it is up to all of us to ensure it continues.”

Renovations on GC House no.3, located on Elmbridge Road in Gloucester, are going well and we’re working on installing a new kitchen, ceiling, flooring and decorating over the coming months.

Should you be interested in supporting this project, like Severnside Scaffolding, please email

Stay up-to-date with progress on the GC House at

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