Apprenticeship boost for Coventry and Warwickshire

Businesses are being encouraged to join a new apprenticeship scheme, which was the first of its kind in the midlands, to help young people gain work experience, training and qualifications in the construction industry.

Together with City College Coventry, Coventry City Council and BAM Construct UK, we are creating 30 construction apprenticeships during the next two years for 16 – 18 year olds studying at City College Coventry.

The scheme is already seeing students at City College Coventry being offered work placements with construction companies locally and regionally. The apprentices are employed by BAM Construct UK, but they will move around other involved organisations to get the right work experience for their chosen qualification. Chiel Construction, Keepmoat, Bovis and Thomas Vale are some of the organisations which have already signed up to the scheme.

We are also offering the students work experience at Whitefriars, as is City College, and BAM Construct UK is working with its supply chain to expand the list of companies involved.

Pete Brady, the project and operations manager at Whitefriars’ training and development agency, explained: “This is the first project like this in the midlands because we are employing the apprentices directly through an existing major construction company rather than setting one up especially to employ the apprentices. In these hard times for construction this removes a critical barrier for companies who would like to offer apprenticeships and provides them and the apprentice with a ‘try before you buy’ offer.

“Now we have kicked off the scheme the critical thing is to get more companies to offer work placements. This will enable existing and future recruits to ‘carousel’ between companies and get wider experience and demonstrate their skills to potential apprenticeship employers.”   

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The project is being funded by Coventry City Council, City College and the National Apprenticeship Service.

It was launched as the government announced plans to create an extra 100,000 apprenticeships in the next two years, plus a City & Guilds survey showed that 89 per cent of employers see apprentices as key to the success of their business over the next two years.

Businesses interested in joining the shared apprenticeship scheme can contact Pete Brady at Whitefriars Housing on 024 7676 7140, or email Pete Brady.

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