PlanBEE was launched in 2013. This industry driven, higher level skills programme, was inspired by Ryder Architecture who identified a skills and talent gap in the sector. They brought together Gateshead College and key players in the industry to develop a programme which would prepare people for a career in a broad range of technical and professional roles in architecture, engineering, building services and construction/site management and provide an alternative route into these jobs than via university.

In the North East, the programme is now supported by a consortium of more than 20 local and national businesses representing a wide range of professional disciplines including architects, contractors, engineers, surveyors and digital construction specialists.

It has won a several awards and been successful in developing a fantastic pool of new talent who are now working across the sector.

During 2020, the group behind PlanBEE saw an opportunity to support more young people into the industry via the government’s Kickstarter programme introduced as a response to Covid-19.  This aims to secure employment opportunities for those who are unemployed through a combination of paid work placement and training.  

In 2021, PlanBEE Manchester was launched. Developed in partnership with Manchester City Council, Manchester Life, Ryder Architecture and Gateshead College, the programme builds on the successful higher apprenticeship models that have been running in both the North East and North West. 

PlanBEE now offers three programmes: