Build UK and Collab Group’s ‘Bridge into Construction’ programme has launched at Sheffield College, with the one year further education course beginning on 1 October 2017.

Research by CITB and IFF Research shows that at present at least one third of young people completing a construction further education course do not continue into employment within the industry. As part of Inspiring Construction, the industry’s recruitment campaign, the Bridge into Construction course aims to ensure that young people have the training and skills the industry needs, and employers have access to the next generation of talent.

The one year further education course will be piloted by two colleges - Sheffield College and South Thames College. It will provide a consistent level of training and competence to equip students with the introductory skills they need to embark on an apprenticeship in construction. Currently too many young people decide to leave the industry after further education, because of a lack of the appropriate skills required for an apprenticeship.

The newly designed course, which was developed with strong employer input, allows construction and the further education sectors to implement a construction vocational route at least four years ahead of Government timetable set out in the Post-16 Skills Plan.

The format of the course will be a project-based teaching style which allows the participating students to understand the lifecycle of a construction project – from the tendering stage, through to design, construction and post-construction. It will also provide students with qualifications including the Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment, and provide a strong foundation for a future career in the industry.

There are currently 30 number of students signed up to the course, with Berkeley Group supporting the course by offering work experience to these students. Students will also visit a number of live construction sites as part of the Open Doors initiative which runs from 19-24 March 2018. Students are expected to complete the course by July 2018.

Employment co-ordinators Rachel Hall & Danielle Buckley at St James and St William said:

“As part of the Berkeley Group, St James and St William are passionate about supporting people who wish to embark on a career in construction. Bridge into Construction is a new and exciting project that will present our business with candidates who are keen to learn more about the construction industry. We are privileged to be a part of this programme and look forward to supporting the candidates and offering invaluable work placement opportunities.”

Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol MBE said:

“I am delighted that our members are supporting our new Bridge into Construction programme. This initiative provides a real opportunity for employers to recruit locally, for the skills they need, from a pool of talented, apprenticeship-ready young people.”

Ian Pretty, Chief Executive of Collab Group said:

“The Bridge into Construction course will extend opportunity, increase social mobility and contribute to our economy. Often, employers in the construction industry have found the further education system difficult to navigate, but the breadth and depth of the Collab Group network provides a route for employers to access a consistent and flexible training service. Bridge into Construction demonstrates how Collab Group colleges and industry can work in partnership to deliver the training— and the talent— that our economy needs.”

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