From education to employment

Bespoke Digital Construction #Apprenticeship Developed Through Collaborative Partnership

A consortium of training providers and FE colleges has been created to develop a bespoke digital construction apprenticeship, for Kent-based Berkeley Modular Ltd.

The company, which is part of the Berkeley Group, specialises in digital construction and volumetric modular housing solutions.

As innovators in its field, Berkeley Modular started to look for an equally innovative solution towards the end of 2018, in how to attract and train exceptional talent to the business. The result was 10 new Design Apprenticeship positions, with a bespoke digital construction training package.

Berkeley Modular Managing Director Graham Cleland, has taken a totally new approach to training the new apprentices through creating a working partnership between a combination of FE colleges and training providers to ensure the 10 successful individuals receive precision training tailored to the exact requirements of the role they will be carrying out.

The 4-way partnership consists of Berkeley Modular Ltd, North Kent College, Dudley College of Technology and the Construction and Design Centre of Excellence (Cadcoe).

Candidates will initially complete an intensive training programme in digital construction and design via Cadcoe and Dudley College, followed by a broad programme of further development in Digital Engineering delivered by North Kent College. Apprentices will be resident at Dudley for the initial specialist training running over a total of 4 months before returning to Berkeley Modular Ltd to complete the broader programme including day release at North Kent College which runs for a further 26 months.

The successful apprentices joining the programme will be permanent, direct employees of Berkeley Modular Ltd and will receive an attractive remuneration package, continued professional career development opportunities and the chance to work on some of the most technologically advanced projects within offsite. The full package is part of Cleland’s vision to transform perceptions of what a career within construction means whilst attracting the most promising digital talent to the industry:

“As a new business, employing apprentices is key to our future success. It is of utmost importance that those apprentices understand their value and the role they have to play in placing Berkeley Modular at the forefront of offsite progress and innovation. Through working closely with our training partners, we have successfully recruited a group of high-achievers with exceptional digital skills”

He goes on to add;

the new apprentices are from a range of backgrounds, including those who possess A-Levels, construction related degrees and top performing maths students. I have a strong belief that if we are to successfully engage with the talent of tomorrow, we have to understand what their needs are, and what makes work stimulating for them. Creating strong educational and collaborative partnerships, promoting exciting opportunities and offering attractive employment packages with clear routes to career development is how we will achieve this and has proved an effective strategy for Berkeley Modular so far.”

The factory is due to start manufacturing homes from 2020. This will coincide with the apprentices completing their initial intensive training and joining the workforce from day one of production.

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