From education to employment



A partnership responsible for transforming Newcastle’s West End, is providing the opportunity for local developers and contractors to support an initiative, which is tackling the construction skills shortage.

New Tyne West Development Company (NTWDC) – a partnership between Keepmoat, and Newcastle City Council – is hosting open days with The National Housebuilding Council (NHBC), at the NHBC Training Hub, at The Rise development in Scotswood – addressing the national shortage of bricklayers.

The state of the art NHBC Training Hub is a partnership between NHBC and Keepmoat. It can support up to 100 apprentices annually to gain a Level Two Apprenticeship Qualification in bricklaying which is taught at the hub and applied onsite in collaboration with housebuilders.

Held over two mornings – 22nd and 23rd February between 9am to 12 midday – attendees will be given the opportunity to tour the NHBC Training Hub, speak to apprentices, the expert trainers  and find out more about the programme and how it can help upskill and increase their workforce.

Within the last year, NTWDC’s build partner, Keepmoat, has supported over 30 apprentices, completing their apprenticeship at the NHBC Training Hub, with two enjoying work placements on The Rise.  The partnership it is committed to employing 75 apprentices over the lifetime of the development.

Geoff Scott, Social Value Manager at Keepmoat North East, said:

“At Keepmoat we prioritise our responsibility to train, educate and support our staff. We encourage all developers and contractors to play their part in building the next generation of construction workers.

“It has been a privilege to welcome the NHBC Training Hub to NTWDC’s The Rise – the first facility of its kind in the region. Keepmoat’s commitment and passion in providing local jobs for local people has already seen the programme support over 30 bricklaying apprentices. We are confident that if other developers and contractors make use of this initiative, we could see a significant increase in qualified bricklayers in the North East.”

Jake McDougal, 17, from Kenton is an apprentice at the NHBC Training Hub and working on The Rise, he added:

“I am really enjoying my training as it is a good mix of theory and practical hands-on experience as well as being able to work as part of an experienced site team.”

Darryl Stewart, responsible for NHBC’s apprentice training programme and hubs, commented:

“This is an excellent opportunity to find out more about what the NHBC Training Hub offers. Bricklaying is at the heart of house building and is a hugely important skill. Our apprenticeships are for everyone, and the training hub is a key component of NHBC’s ongoing commitment to supporting the next generation of house builders and equipping them with the skills to build high-quality new homes.

“The NHBC Training Hub offers a realistic work environment and we’re seeing apprentices completing their training in just 14 months – many with distinctions. It’s a standout difference from the 30-month timescale more traditional learning routes take. An apprenticeship in the house-building industry is a pathway into a range of rewarding and well-paid careers that can make a real difference to the available future workforce. I’d encourage everyone to come along.”

Established in 2013 to breathe new life into the west of the city through a £265 million, housing led regeneration programme, since building began more than 550 homes have been completed.

The NHBC Training Hub is based at: Armstrong Road (opposite The Rise housing development), Scotswood, Newcastle NE15 6BY and there is plenty of off-street parking.

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