Constructing a new job ready workforce
It is anticipated that the sector will require an additional 230,000 skilled professionals to meet growing demand over the next four years.
A groundbreaking scheme has been launched in Greater Manchester to ensure that the next generation of construction professionals get their feet firmly planted on the career ladder.
A lack of skilled staff is perceived to be one of the biggest challenges facing construction.
It is anticipated that the sector will require an additional 230,000 skilled professionals to meet growing demand over the next four years. And many large developers are responding by investing in apprenticeships.
Among these is the Manchester Life Development Company’s Higher Apprenticeship initiative, which aims to give young construction professionals the opportunity to earn while they learn new skills with some of the region’s leading companies and organisations.
Manchester Life Development Company is the residential property development group owned by Manchester council and Abu Dhabi United Group.
Combining both public and private sector expertise, it has the remit to drive the sympathetic and sustainable redevelopment of Ancoats and New Islington into vibrant and inclusive communities.
Over the past year, the company has been working with Manchester College and several leading construction companies based in Greater Manchester to devise and implement an appropriate apprenticeship training programme.
Marty Edelman, executive chairman of the Manchester Life Development Company, said that apprentices were ‘immensely important’ to his organisation.
He said: “Maximising the positive impact for Manchester is central to the Manchester Life philosophy, and includes our developments helping to regenerate East Manchester, local supply chain and employment opportunities and providing apprenticeships for the talented young individuals who will go on to drive Manchester’s future growth.
“Our Manchester Life Higher Apprenticeship team is a great example of collaboration between Manchester Life, the Manchester College and our consultants and contractors.
“Our professional team consists of companies behind some of the most prominent real estate developments globally, and we already have nine talented apprentices embedded and gaining real world experience in property development, design and construction.
“We encourage all our consultants and contractors to be part of the scheme, which has proved an effective model for opening up a wide range of opportunities for our apprentices.
“This has already become something of a benchmark for Manchester’s construction industry and we are looking forward to the next intake from Manchester College.”
Among the companies and organisations participating in the apprenticeship training scheme are: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios; JM Architects; Hydrock; Arup; Mace; MAC Construction Consultants Limited; Eric Wright Group; John Sisk and Son; Graham Construction; Carillion; Planit and Pierre Angulaire.
Manchester council is also providing an opportunity for apprentices to spend time in its property and planning departments.
Phase one of Manchester Life will provide more than 900 predominantly privately rented homes which will help to fulfil the demand for high quality residential accommodation in line with Manchester’s Residential Growth Strategy to provide tens of thousands of new homes by 2027.
Simon Adams is John Sisk and Son’s framework director working on the Manchester Life framework.
He said: “We wanted to get involved in this apprenticeship programme to provide opportunities for youngsters living in those areas we’re helping to develop as well as ensuring that the next generation of construction professionals flourishes.
“Additionally, I think that when we sat down with all the participants in this higher apprenticeship initiative last year, I think that we all quickly realised the potential benefits that could be enjoyed by working collaboratively.
“Each of the first intake of apprentices is attached to a different organisation for around three months.
“That means that they get an outstanding overview of the construction sector and can subsequently make an informed decision about which division they want to study.”