An Office for Students Funded Project

Addressing Barriers to Student Success

Gateshead College has joined forces with Northumbria University and Derby College to launch the BRIDGE Project, a research programme that will investigate why there are low numbers of women, people from disadvantaged backgrounds, ethnic minority groups, people with disabilities, mature and part-time students enrolling on construction-related degree courses.

This project is set to benefit those seeking professional, technical and management jobs by providing ways to encourage people from all backgrounds, sexes and ethnicities into higher education and a career in the construction industry.

The project will collate evidence and input from key stakeholders including current and prospective construction and built environment students, apprentices and trainees, industry professionals and those who chose not to continue a career in the industry. 



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The BRIDGE Project aims to gain a deeper understanding of the factors affecting student degree and career choices before developing and testing a range of interventions aimed at improving the diversity of graduate recruitment in professional construction subjects.

These Interventions will be tested out in the North East and the Midlands and will include careers education activities with school children, parents, teachers and advisors as well as the development of improved information and marketing strategies. We will also explore the impact of new curriculum initiatives, including 14-19 vocational qualifications pathways and emerging higher and degree apprenticeships that combine work with higher education study.

The project will also work with employers and other stakeholders to address the industry’s recruitment barriers, including public perceptions as well as conscious and unconscious bias and discrimination in the workplace. 

The BRIDGE Project is the latest initiative piloted by Gateshead College to boost skills in the construction industry. The college is also an integral driving force behind PlanBEE, a separate initiative that seeks new ways of attracting new talent into the sector.   

Launched by internationally renowned Ryder Architecture in 2013, PlanBEE has grown in scale and stature andis now supported by major players in the industry, including Sir Robert McAlpine, Xsite Architecture, 3e, Cundall, Arup, Esh, Desco, Faulkner Browns, Napper Architects, Surgo, Turner &Townsend, Summers Inman and BIM Academy, as well as Northumbria University.  For further information on this go to