Balfour Beatty, a member of The 5% Club, is marking National Apprenticeship Week (9th -13th March) with a range of new commitments to help more young people find work in the growing infrastructure sector.
Balfour Beatty is creating 150 new apprenticeship vacancies in civil engineering, construction and business disciplines.
The firm is also encouraging companies in its 7,000 strong UK supply chain to join The 5% Club and further boost apprenticeship numbers alongside industry training body, the CITB.
As part of apprenticeship week Balfour is partnering with 12 universities and colleges to deliver the new Trailblazer Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.
The construction giant will also be recruiting a further 80 young people by the end of the year into the industry, through companies in the new Higher and Degree Apprenticeships Employers’ Consortium.
Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty’s group chief executive and founder of The 5% Club, said: “There is a skills shortage, our industry needs talent and this is our biggest ever commitment to recruit apprentices. It’s a great sector to work in because we develop, build and run the infrastructure we all depend on in our daily lives.
“The commitments we are making today demonstrate the proactive role we are taking to provide sustainable career skills for this country’s youth, working with Government, universities and our supply chain partners to ensure that we attract young people into this growing infrastructure sector.”
Southampton Solent University is one of the universities which Balfour Beatty has partnered with to deliver the Higher and Degree Apprenticeships scheme.
Jane Longmore, deputy vice-chancellor (Academic), said: “We have been actively committed to the apprenticeship agenda for the last five years, developing higher and degree apprenticeships across our portfolio in close partnership with local and national employers, such as Balfour Beatty. We view degree apprenticeships as an entirely complementary part of our applied curriculum and as a significant professional route for our current and future students.”
Steve Radley, director of policy and strategic planning from the CITB, said: “I’m delighted that Balfour Beatty is to work to encourage its supply chain to join The 5% Club because it sends such a strong signal to smaller contractors that often feel that the time and cost involved is a barrier to taking on apprentices. If we are to develop the skills to deliver the strong growth forecast over the next five years, is it vital that we work together to help smaller businesses to overcome these perceptions and benefit from the boost that apprenticeships can deliver to their businesses.”
The new Higher and Degree Apprenticeship standards mark an increasingly professional approach to apprenticeships, enabling entrants to the industry to move more quickly into management roles where a further skills shortage is emerging. They will be offered in Civil Engineering, Construction Management, Building Services Engineering, Design Co-ordination and Quantity Surveying.
New entrants will gain an HNC and Associate or Technician professional status in three years, followed by a full honours degree and Incorporated or Chartered status in a further three years. They will gain excellent work experience, a range of additional industry qualifications and a firm foundation for an exciting and rewarding career in the infrastructure industry.
The new Higher and Degree Apprenticeships start in September of this year and were developed with the support of the Chartered Institute of Building, Institution of Civil Engineers, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists.