From education to employment

Students build bright future thanks to successful new scheme

Graham Hasting-Evans, Group Managing Director of NOCN and President of British Association of Construction Heads

A new programme to get more young people into construction jobs is set to be scaled up after a successful bricklaying pilot in Teesside.

The occupational traineeship in bricklaying has been developed by CITB as a way of helping students bridge the gap between college and a construction job. This was established because currently only 41% of students on Further Education construction courses join the sector.

The bricklaying pilot took place at Hartlepool College this summer. Students trained in a working site environment, building a bungalow and garage, followed by a work placement with local construction employers to gain vital on-the-job experience. Employers received £1,000 per trainee to cover the cost of work placements.

Of the 14 trainees who completed the course, nine have got onto an apprenticeship. Now, three new occupational traineeships are being developed by CITB, in carpentry and joinery, drylining, and painting and decorating, with the aim of 8,000 learners taking them by 2025.

The occupational traineeship in bricklaying has been developed in partnership with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), the Home Builders Federation (HBF), Association of Colleges (AoC), and the British Association of Construction Heads (BACH).

Tim Balcon, Chief Executive of CITB, said:

“Our forecasts predict that we will need to recruit an additional 217,000 workers by 2025 just to meet demand, including over 7,000 bricklayers. Schemes like this are essential therefore in attracting new recruits to the industry, providing them with the skills and support they need, and getting them to work. Congratulations to all the new apprentices from Hartlepool who I have no doubt will have long, rewarding careers in the industry.”

Occupational traineeships have been developed to support the largest-ever expansion of traineeships, as part of the government’s Plan for Jobs to ensure more young people have access to high quality training. The Chancellor confirmed an additional £126 million in the March budget to continue the expansion of traineeships.

Minister for Skills, Alex Burghart, said:

“It’s fantastic to see trainees in Teesside getting the skills they need to take on in-demand apprenticeships in the local construction industry.

“Traineeships are a brilliant way for young people to get on the career ladder, and help them get the skills, experience and confidence they need to enter work.”

John Cartwright from Hartlepool College, said:

“Traineeships are an essential area in the fundamental development of learners in order for them to make that step into the world of work. This occupational traineeship in brickwork gave both employers and learners the opportunity to ‘try before you buy’ before fully committing to an apprenticeship. At Hartlepool College we were delighted to be selected as the pilot provider which enabled us to have our fingerprints on what we see a huge step in transforming lives of young construction learners entering the world of work.”

Graham Hasting-Evans, President of the British Association of Construction Heads (BACH), said:

“The construction industry presents a fantastic opportunity for young people who have practical skills to earn a great living and contribute to our society through better and greener housing and civil engineering infrastructure. 

“Traineeships are a brilliant way of helping those who are less academic to get on to construction apprenticeships which will kickstart their future careers. It is great to see this initiative, supported by Hartlepool and BACH, successfully get off the ground and provide a model for other construction occupations.”

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