Construction contractor helping to pay Shaylor student fees
Construction contractor MCS Group has donated £10,000 to help pay the tuition fees of employees of Aldridge-based Shaylor Group after it collapsed into administration earlier this week.
MCS Group, based at Claverdon, Warwickshire, has called on other construction companies to contribute towards the unpaid university fees, which threaten to prevent some Shaylor employees graduating after completing degree courses.
Its managing director Keir Edmonds said: “We are passionate about supporting young people coming into the construction sector.
"It is well known that there is a severe skills shortage and we need to do all we can to encourage people to consider a career in construction.
“We have our own apprenticeship scheme, which we are proud of, and we enjoy seeing our employees develop and progress.
"So, when I heard that some Shaylor students faced being denied their degrees because their tuition fees hadn’t been paid, I felt we had to show some support in their hour of need.”
Around 200 employees were made redundant on Friday when Shaylor, whose headquarters are in Aldridge, ceased trading and appointed administrators.
The firm's collapse has left dozens of contractors and suppliers out of pocket, with reports emerging from many firms who say they have been owed money for months despite the company posting a profit of more than £6 million in its 2018 accounts.
It has also caused further trouble for the already delayed and over-budget Wolverhampton's Civic Hall revamp, which Shaylor was working on.
The situation facing Shaylor's employees enrolled on university courses was exposed by Louise Anderson, a quantity surveyor who worked for Shaylor for eight years until moving to Stepnell in March.
She took to LinkedIn to highlight the issue, saying: “Absolutely disgusted to find out Shaylor Group haven’t paid the last year’s university fees for their employees undertaking degree courses, lots have now found out they cannot graduate unless they pay several thousand pounds within the next week!”
She added: “One of these students happens to have been my trainee who has bust her gut to achieve a first class degree only to find out this news weeks before her graduation. Fuming is an understatement! This is young people’s careers they have impacted! Disgusting!”
Reacting to MCS Group’s offer, she said: “Such a kind offer and very gratefully received.”
Mr Edmonds added: “We have donated £10,000 towards payment of the outstanding fees.
"I hope that other construction companies will be able to follow suit and provide similar support so that these people can graduate and continue with their careers.
“The Birmingham and Midlands construction market is buoyant with opportunities for young people looking to pursue a career in the sector. We shouldn’t let a negative scenario detract form the fact that there’s a lot of good work being carried out by sensibly run businesses.”
MCS Group has also built and refurbished more than 300 car dealerships including Audi, BMW, McLaren and Jaguar Land Rover since 2003.