Apprentice hunt for Britain's best - conducted by Berkeley Group

August 2, 2017

The search is on for the top apprentices working in construction. The Berkeley Group has launched a call for entries at the start of its second annual Apprentice Awards campaign. With housebuilders needing tens of thousands of new recruits over the next decade, Berkeley is calling on schools and FE colleges to help champion careers in construction.

  • Right now, 98% of young people believe that more can be done in school and colleges to help students become an apprentice
  • The Berkeley Group is committed to having at least 1,500 people in apprenticeships or training by April 2018
  • 92% of young people believe their school prioritises exam results over career advice. Only 17% are advised to explore apprenticeships as a credible route to work.

According to ‘Get My First Job’, an online platform that helps match young people to tapprenticehe right apprenticeship, more than 60% of young people in the UK feel inadequately prepared for the world of work by the time they leave school or college and only 1 in 3 (34%) believe that their school or college provided sufficient information about becoming an apprentice.

As Britain struggles with a long-term skills crisis, housebuilders are urgently looking to showcase careers in construction and celebrate rising stars in the industry.  

On 10 October one of the UK’s top developers, the Berkeley Group, will host its second annual Apprentice Awards. Over the last 12 months, Berkeley has doubled the number of apprentices working on its sites and in the business. The individual stories behind these awards reveal a host of jobs that are worthwhile, well-rewarded, demanding and fun.

Ashabur Rahman, Groundworks apprentice for Keltbray and a winner of the 2016 Berkeley Apprentice of the year award, said: 

“I found my apprenticeship through Crisis. I had recently been released from prison and was living in a hostel. I had no experience of construction but was determined to change my life. Working hard, learning on the job and in the classroom, I have managed to do just that. Now, I enjoy working on site every day. Not only do I see a real future for myself, I have also become a mentor for new members of staff who are ex-offenders.”

Despite the best efforts of Government, the current system of construction training andapprentices further education is in need of radical reform. The award ceremony in October will also encourage a debate about ways to improve engagement with schools and ensure there are enough of the right courses in the right places.

Rob Perrins, Chief Executive of the Berkeley Group, said:

"I want to make sure that every single person who wants to learn a skill or a trade in our industry has a chance to make that happen. We are all responsible for the future of the construction industry and we really need to step up to the mark. Business, government and further education providers have to work much better together to deliver the skills we will need beyond Brexit.”

Applications are now open for the Apprentice Awards 2017. Contractors and colleagues can nominate apprentices here before entries close on Friday 8th September.

The winners will be announced at the coveted award ceremony, hosted on Tuesday 10th October at Pennington Street warehouse at London Dock, Wapping. To find out more, visit the Apprentice Awards.

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