Bridge Into Construction is a one-year college course developed by Build UK and the Collab Group so that employers have access to the next generation of talent.
Thirty students have signed up to the course, which started this month on October 1st and is being piloted by The Sheffield College and South Thames College.
At least one third of young people completing a construction further education course do not continue into employment within the industry, according to Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and IFF Research.
Bridge into Construction aims to provide a consistent level of training and competence to equip students with the introductory skills they need to embark on an apprenticeship in construction. The scheme was officially launched at The Sheffield College last month.
Victoria Taylor, Director, Construction Trades and Civil Engineering, The Sheffield College, said: “We are delighted to both develop and lead on this ambitious and exciting programme in the north of England as part of our work with Collab Group.”
She continued: “Students will gain experience from working in many different aspects of the construction industry including facilities management and technical support, and benefit from work experience placements. On successful completion of the programme, students will be offered an apprenticeship interview.”
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 format of the newly designed course will be a project-based teaching style which allows 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. The course has been developed with employers and is supported by Berkeley Group, who are providing work experience to students.
Suzannah Nichol MBE, Chief Executive, Build UK, 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, Collab Group, added: “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.”
The course allows the construction and further education sectors to implement a construction vocational route at least four years ahead of the Government timetable set out in the Post-16 Skills Plan. The Collab Group represents 36 of the leading colleges and college groups in the UK. Visit http://www.collabgroup.co.uk/