BAM unveils three new apprenticeship initiatives and partnerships including its first degree apprenticeship in England and evidence of improved diversity

16 February, 2021

BAM’s combined UK operations – BAM Nuttall and BAM Construct UK – have unveiled three new apprenticeship initiatives, fostered through three separate partnerships.

BAM has joined forces with fellow major contractor Kier to offer its first degree apprenticeship in England through Sheffield Hallam University’s well-established quantity surveying and construction site management programmes.

Paul Skerry, Early Careers and Professional Development Manager at BAM said: “The flexibility of Sheffield Hallam providing both construction management and quantity surveying is a real plus for BAM. The relationships we build from the programme will further enhance our collaboration in future construction projects.”

All apprentices work full-time for their respective company and receive their teaching in week-long blocks throughout the year. The new joint apprenticeship programme with Kier and BAM starts on Monday 22 February.

In a second initiative BAM has formed a new partnership with The Collab Group. This will see Collab Group colleges provide a holistic apprenticeship and training service that will target both new entrants into the workforce and existing staff.

The partnership helps BAM to deliver its commitment to developing apprenticeship progression routes for technical roles including civil engineers, quantity surveyors and building services engineers. Collab Group colleges will also act as delivery partners to deliver apprenticeships across England for a range of trade and non-technical apprenticeships, including business administration, IT specialists, data analysts and project managers.

This partnerships enables BAM to access high-quality apprenticeship training, a consistent accreditation process and technical and specialist expertise across the Collab Group college network. Collab Group has a unique national delivery network for providing apprenticeship programmes that are flexible and responsive to long-term skills needs.

Paul Skerry said: ‘Working with Collab Group will provide a consistent approach for delivering apprenticeships at a regional level across our national businesses. This helps our local teams deliver a consistent product in an efficient way. The Atlas reporting system is impressive and will enable us to make both global and local interventions to support continued delivery of a high quality product.’

The partnership is a further step in the strategic ability of BAM’s businesses to operate in an integrated (‘One BAM’) way. In a third announcement, BAM has reported excellent signs of progress on diversity from its third partnership, an existing one, with Leeds College of Building.

Since choosing Leeds College of Building as a training provider four years ago, BAM has significantly increased the number of female apprentices enrolled on its Level 4 programme. Construction management, site supervisor, quantity surveying, and civil engineering apprenticeships have risen from 20% to nearly 30% females, compared to just one in eight (12.5%) construction workers nationally (GMB, 2019).

The apprenticeship programme is also five times more ethnically diverse than recorded in the construction sector. Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) representation stands at 15% compared to less than 6% of construction workers nationally (ONS Labour Force Surveys).

In 2020, apprentices across BAM Nuttall and BAM Construct UK were brought together for the first time as a combined college cohort after listening to the businesses’ needs. Around 40 BAM Nuttall and 12 BAM Construct apprentices attend Leeds College of Building each year, joining over 300 employed nationally by BAM. This merger enhanced inclusivity and collaboration across the organisations.

BAM cites the inspiring diversity of staff in the Leeds College of Building lecturing team as of significant benefit to the apprenticeship programme. Over the last decade, a focus on apprenticeships has resulted in a massive growth of the college’s technical and professional training and the team who deliver it.

Nikki Davis, Vice Principial at Leeds College of Building said: “We're delighted that the work we are doing as a College and with employers such as BAM is helping to create a more diverse workforce in the construction and built environment sector. Apprenticeships breathe new life into businesses and help close skill gaps, so it's really important that they are accessible to everyone.”

The Faculty of Higher Education, Construction Design & Management at LCB employs 30% female staff (out of 56 staff). Female lecturers come from a wide range careers and among the role models is Nikki Davis, the first female Vice-Principal there.

Paul Skerry concluded: “We strive to be a progressive company, and by working with organisations like Leeds College of Building, we can share a common goal to change the national picture and become more diverse and inclusive. These three initiatives show how hard we have worked to make BAM the best in our sector place to develop your construction career.”

BAM’s three initiative come during the 14th annual National Apprenticeship Week, coordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service and held 8-12 February.

In Scotland BAM has also supported the graduate level apprenticeship for two years, with six apprentices going through.

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