UKCW 2018



Success of innovative scheme to attract talent into built environment extended after successful first year.

Last year, Gateshead College teamed up with a strong partnership of architects, designers, contractors and engineering specialists to launch PlanBEE, an innovative scheme to help tackle the skills shortage within the construction industry.

A unique flexible training programme was designed to attract and retain the highest standard of new talent, plug the skills gap and create a workforce with a more varied set of skills which could be used across multiple construction disciplines. The programme differs from original training models, as it allows students to gain valuable experience within multiple companies, allowing them to gain more understanding of the built environment industry.

An initial cohort of 13 students enrolled on the scheme last September and all have been retained having completed a Higher National Certificate (HNC) qualification. They will now work towards a Higher National Diploma (HND) in year two and an honours degree in year three and these qualifications will help them secure a guaranteed job on completion of the programme.

A new recruitment drive has now begun and successful students will begin in September.

Working with Gateshead College, the group has created a bespoke higher level skills programme that provides talented individuals with study and off-the-job training at the college’s construction facility on Team Valley, along with a job working with some of the region’s leading companies. It has been tailored specifically for and by the North East construction sector, providing students with a starting salary of £10,700 per year, a professional qualification and a guaranteed job opportunity on graduation.

Chris Toon, deputy principal at Gateshead College, said: “Employers across the built environment industry have expressed a need for a greater convergence of skills that traditionally sit within the disciplines of architecture, urban planning, engineering, surveying and landscaping. The PlanBEE programme has been designed to equip students with valuable experience in all of these important subject areas.

“This will help to provide industry with a pipeline of work-ready talent that enables companies to become more productive and competitive now and in the long run.”

The scheme has attracted high-profile names, including Brims Construction, Sir Robert McAlpine, Xsite Architecture, Robertson, 3e Consulting, Cundall, Arup, FaulknerBrowns, Sadler Brown Architecture and Tolent.

Brims Director Richard Wood said: “We are a fast-growing business and realise how important it is to play our part in nurturing the talent of the future. We look forward to welcoming more students to the company.

“It is a real alternative to full time education; one that offers a future with no debt and a job offer on completion.”

Source: UK Construction Online


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