PlanBEE Manchester goes from strength to strength

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Our PlanBEE Manchester programme has been hailed a success with the first cohort of apprentices securing permanent jobs.

The apprentices who all successfully completed the innovative apprenticeship programme have been offered positions with some of the sector’s leading companies, including Turner & Townsend, Buro Happold, John Sisk & Sons, Eric Wright Construction, Ramboll, Places First and Great Places Housing. They will be employed in various roles including civil engineering, quantity surveying, construction management and building services engineering.

PlanBEE Manchester was launched in 2021 when Manchester Life, Manchester City Council, Ryder Architecture and the college formed a powerful alliance with a network of architects, designers, contractors and engineering specialists. The two-year apprenticeship programme was designed to meet the need for skilled employees within the North West construction sector and equip young people to thrive in the industry.

Rather than follow a traditional training model where apprentices complete their qualifications while working in one company, PlanBEE Manchester apprentices worked across several companies including the City Council, Manchester Life, Ryder, Purcell, Ramboll, Faithful and Gould, Sisk, Turner & Townsend, Buttress and Eric Wright Construction

The first group of ten students enrolled onto the programme in September 2021 and had the opportunity to earn and learn on schemes including the Our Town Hall project, Manchester Life’s developments in Ancoats, and Manchester's prestigious new world-class arts venue Aviva Studios.

Ayman Abdulgabar, a PlanBEE Manchester graduate who is now working as a trainee quantity surveyor with Turner & Townsend said: “All I knew was that I wanted to work in the industry and what attracted me to PlanBEE was the fact that it provides extensive exposure to the various skills involved in the construction industry.

“I would definitely recommend the course. Instead of attending university for a degree in an area that I might not have enjoyed, PlanBEE gave me an insight into the various disciplines so I could understand better what I wanted to do in the future.”

Councillor John Hacking, Executive Member for Skills, Employment and Leisure, said: "The success of PlanBEE Manchester is clear to see with every one of the first cohort of apprentices having now successfully completed the programme and gone on to secure fantastic first jobs as a result.

"It's brilliant for the businesses involved who get to shape the programme around the core skills and expertise they're looking for, both within their current workforce as well as their workforces of tomorrow, as they look to future-proof their businesses. And it's a win-win also for the apprentices who take part in the programme as not only do they get to earn whilst they learn, they do so knowing the skills they're learning will give them the very best chance of getting a good job at the end of it.

"We're determined to do everything we can to help and support our residents of all ages to find good fulfilling jobs and would love to hear from any other businesses based in the city that share this ambition and would like to partner up with us in this."

A second and third group of 32 apprentices have since been recruited to PlanBEE Manchester and the number of businesses involved in the programme has increased by 122%, since its launch, with 25 businesses now directly involved in training up a new generation of employees with the skills they need to support them into future employment.

Ian Knight, Programme Director at Manchester Life, said: “Success for Manchester Life and its partners is not only the neighbourhood transformation and communities we help create but also the life chances we create for young people.

“We’re incredibly proud of the Plan BEE graduates, who have directly contributed to Ancoats’ transformation and launched their careers as young leaders within our industry. So far, over 75 apprentices have spent time with Manchester Life, and we can’t wait to welcome the next cohort."

PlanBEE Manchester built on Manchester Life and Manchester City Council’s M-Futures apprentice scheme and is based on the award winning PlanBEE model which has been running successfully in the North East since 2016.

During 2023, in partnership with the London School of Architecture, PlanBEE expanded to London and an affiliated programme was also launched in Vancouver, Canada in partnership with the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

For any companies interested in finding out more about being part of PlanBEE Manchester, click here and anyone interested in applying for the programme for September 2024, click here

Sat Jul 13 2024