The Apprentice Award: Stairway to Success

This month sees us in the final for the Shropshire Business Awards Apprentice of the Year Award! We are obviously delighted and thought it would be fitting to throw the spotlight onto our very own TDS apprentices and a recent project that they worked on and completed under the careful guidance of their mentor, Steve.



Shaun, Tyler, Tom and Will who have all been with TDS for over a year now were all involved in detailing what was a very demanding and intricate stair structure. The stair formed a part of a refurbishment contract on an existing building in Lambeth, London. An extension was also added in order to turn the building into a hotel. We had to coordinate all of our work with the existing structure ensuring that the structure would be viable and practical. The obvious problem is that all refurbs are to some extent tricky, instead of starting from scratch you have to manipulate a new design with a pre-existing structure.

It was one of the most complex designs that we have had through in a while, the interfaces made the specifics of the detailing quite difficult. Our TDS Apprentices assisted in the set out of the stairs, the GA drawings including sections and elevations and they produced all of the fabrication drawings themselves which is no mean feat.

The main difficulties that were encountered were primarily down to the nature of the build being a refurbishment, but when we have to factor this into the steel interface of the staircase being made by a different firm, we had very strict and precise guidelines to draw within. Drawing from scratch to a pre-existing site design with ready fabricated steelwork made by a different fabricator is tricky challenge to overcome, but it is verification as to how far the guys have come in how well they pulled off the work.

As part of our service we advised the lead fabricator on the overall design which allowed them to produce an original contract for the work that they did. We also assisted in taking over the project as a whole when it came down to detailing, liaising with the lead architect on the interfacing design aspects, worked with other trades on design sign offs and set outs.

One of our apprentices Tom, did all of the signage support drawings under the contract as a standalone job from start to finish. The finished result is really quite impressive. It is a real testament to the skill of our apprentices in their ability to take on a large role in a real and demanding project and complete it to such a high standard. The project was ultimately a success with the stair fitting in on site perfectly, the MD of the fabrication firm had nothing but praise for the work that Shaun, Tyler, Tom and Will did.

We are really proud of all of the work that our apprentices here at TDS do. They are fully integrated as part of the team and their continued development is not only advancing their skills as draughtsmen but is key to our success as a business. For more information on how you can hire your very own Apprentice CAD Engineer visit the CADCOE website