Leeds College of Building (@WeAre_LCB) and construction partner, BAM, are celebrating student diversity figures as they join the rest of the country in marking National Apprenticeship Week (#NAW2021), taking place between 8 and 14 February 2021.
Since choosing Leeds College of Building as a training provider four years ago, BAM has significantly increased the number of female apprentices enrolled on their Level 4 programme. Construction management, site supervisor, quantity surveying, and civil engineering apprenticeships have risen from 20% to nearly 30% females, compared to just one in eight (12.5%) construction workers nationally (GMB, 2019).
The apprenticeship programme is also nearly three times more ethnically diverse than recorded in the construction sector. Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) representation stands at 15% compared to less than 6% of construction workers nationally (ONS Labour Force Surveys).
In 2020, apprentices across BAM Nuttall and BAM Construct were brought together for the first time as a combined college cohort after listening to the businesses’ needs. Around 40 BAM Nuttall and 12 BAM Construct apprentices attend Leeds College of Building each year, joining over 300 employed nationally by BAM. This merger enhanced inclusivity and collaboration across the organisations.
BAM cites the inspiring diversity of staff in the Leeds College of Building lecturing team as of significant benefit to the Apprenticeship programme. Over the last decade, a focus on apprenticeships has resulted in a massive growth of the college’s technical and professional training and the team who deliver it.
Today, the Faculty of Higher Education, Construction Design & Management at Leeds College of Building employs 30% female staff (out of a total of 56 staff). Female lecturers come from a wide range careers including architecture, civil engineering, quantity surveying, and transport planning. Among the role models is Nikki Davis, the first female Vice-Principal at Leeds College of Building.
Chris Tunningley, Assistant Director in the Faculty of the Built Environment & Engineering Services at Leeds College of Building, said:
“I am incredibly proud of our work with Apprentices at Leeds College of Building. We aim to encourage an opportunity for all, across a wide range of quality apprenticeships, however this would not be possible without our excellent staff and employers like BAM providing the opportunities. Together, we can play our part in pushing the industry forwards and highlighting the diverse range of opportunities available in the Construction Industry. ‘Build the Future’ is the theme for #NAW2021. What better representation of the future than building a diverse workforce in our sector.”
Paul Skerry, UK Early Careers & Professional Development Manager at Royal BAM Group, said:
“At BAM, we are working hard to improve the diversity of our business and our industry. We have four active @BAM People Networks which amplify minority voices and work hard towards achieving a larger critical mass of under-represented groups, by creating inclusive environments where everyone can achieve their full potential. These include [email protected] (our gender diversity network) and [email protected] (championing those who are disabled and neuro-diverse and supporting our business to become Disability Confident Level 2 in 2021). Our partnership with Leeds College of Building ensures that this change happens as early as possible, through interventions in vocational enrichment, to enable our Apprentices to become future ambassadors of inclusion.”
Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, Gillian Keegan said:
“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to learn while you earn, opening up new and exciting career paths that can transform lives. It’s been a tough year for everyone, but we want the theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2021 to be a springboard to look ahead to how apprenticeships can futureproof workforces and boost careers.”
This year is the 14th annual National Apprenticeship Week, coordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service. To celebrate, Leeds College of Building is taking part in several virtual events to mark #NAW2021:
Leeds Apprenticeship Festival (18-12 February)
Leeds College of Building will be hosting a stand at this virtual event which will feature live Q&A sessions with employers and trainers throughout the week. The annual physical event usually attracts thousands to First Direct Arena, but this year will go virtual owing to Covid-19 restrictions. To find out more and pre-book live sessions, visit: www.leedsapprenticeshipfestival.co.uk
EN:Able Futures Webinar: Apprenticeships in Construction, Housing & Civil Engineering (11 February)
Together with EN:Able Futures , Leeds College of Building and two employers from the industry will host a live webinar on Thursday 11 February, 5.30pm. The event is designed for anyone interested in finding out more about the apprenticeships and careers available in Construction, Housing & Civil Engineering. Two apprentices will also talk about their experiences and training routes. Questions will be answered via the webinar chat function. Register your interest at eventbrite
Virtual Open Event (18 February):
A virtual open event will take place on Thursday 18 February, showcasing the college and degree-level courses available at Leeds College of Building. Advisors will be available to discuss everything on offer and the support available at College. Register your interest at: www.lcb.ac.uk/events