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North East businesses combine to build skills in construction sector

Recruitment underway for initiative to develop new careers and skills

A dynamic private sector led partnership in the North East is working with education to develop a completely new way of attracting talented young people into the construction sector.

The innovative skills and careers programme, a first for the UK, is set to shake up the traditional way that people are recruited and trained in a sector that ultimately shapes towns, cities and communities.

A powerful partnership of designers, builders, and project managers who operate in the ‘built environment’ have come together to campaign for change, addressing the skills gap while also creating more flexible employees through a new architectural engineering and management programme.

PlanBEE was launched by internationally renowned Ryder Architecture in 2013 and the campaign now also includes the support of Arup, Cundall, Desco, Esh, FaulknerBrowns, Napper Architects, Sir Robert McAlpine, Summers Inman, Surgo, Turner and Townsend, Xcite, 3eConsult, NELEP, RICS, CIOB and ICE. Further partners are joining.
They have joined forces with the region’s leading further education organisation, Gateshead College to help devise a completely new way of recruiting and training young people for a career in the construction sector.

Recruitment is now underway for the new higher skills apprenticeship programme following its formal launch at Ryder’s home at Cooper’s Studios, Newcastle on July 25.

Mark Thompson, managing partner at Ryder, said:

We’re delighted to have Gateshead College on board as PlanBEE educational partners, alongside a number of universities. The facilities and staff at the college will provide valuable support throughout the course, ensuring cohorts receive the right balance of quality in-house educational content and hands on training with our professional industry consortium members

Gateshead College has devised an outline programme that gives new recruits a broader set of skills to ensure greater inter disciplinary working in the construction industry.

Employers across the sector have increasingly felt that current qualifications and degree courses are no longer fit for purpose.

The programme, which starts this September, provides a starting salary of £10,000 per along with study and off the job training at the college’s modern construction facility on Team Valley with a job working with some of the region’s leading companies.

For more information about the programme, contact apprenticeships@gateshead.ac.uk or visit this site.