A new way to construct your career. Recruitment for September 2019 opens soon. A new way to construct your career. Recruitment for September 2019 opens soon.


This higher level ‘apprenticeship’ Programme is sponsored by PlanBEE, a consortium of employers working in the Built Environment industry.

Established by Ryder Architecture, PlanBEE is an industry wide partnership of companies who want people with a new and broader set of skills in their businesses. Comprising some of the most recognised brands in the industry and niche SMEs, they have committed to work together to shape the talent of the future and inspire people to consider a rewarding career in a broad range of technical and professional roles in Architecture, Engineering and Construction.

The partners have a long track record of recruiting and training apprentices and graduates and have worked with Gateshead College to develop a bespoke programme of on and off the job training which provides a salary and a fast track to graduation and professional accreditation and offers a guaranteed job to those who successfully complete.


From the moment you join PlanBEE, you'll be a valuable member of the team and we'll make sure your work is well rewarded. So we won’t just train you for a well paid career; we’ll pay you a salary from day one.

How much you earn depends on your age, role and location, but you'll start on (from) £11,383 a year. You’ll also benefit from a pension plan and a generous holiday entitlement, every year.

You will gain qualifications at HNC/HND and Degree level – with no tuition fees to pay!

As part of your programme you will be placed with a range of employers who have excellent reputations in the sector and whose projects and commissions take them across the UK and the world giving you experience of different disciplines of architecture, building engineering and construction management and developing your skills.

What will I study?

Focused on the technical and managerial aspects of design and construction, the programme is supported by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE), The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Study will be in three parts providing the opportunity for you to step off after each with a recognised qualification – HNC, HND, and Bachelor Degree*. 

There are five areas of study with each part ending in an integrated team based project:

  • Leadership
  • Economics
  • Design
  • Technology
  • Production.

You will develop knowledge in building design and performance alongside transferable skills like team working and leadership.

The programme typically lasts 3 1/2 – 4 years, offers a real alternative to university and will help you forge careers in a variety of roles which will change and evolve as your career progresses.

Off the job training will be provided by Gateshead College, recently graded Outstanding by Ofsted and offering state of the art construction facilities and with one of our university partners.

How will I be taught?

Learning is by a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, design studios, residential, field work and site visits. 

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is by a combination of examinations, coursework, projects and presentations.

Entry Requirements

This programme is not for the faint hearted.  The pace will be fast and you will be expected to excel in your development so you can progress to the next stage.  You should have already completed GCSE (Level 2) and A Level (or equivalent Level 3) study and eligible to apply for university level study in the UK.  The programme is not intended for individuals who have already completed and graduated from university.


You need 3 A Levels at grade C and above, or a BTEC Extended Diploma (averaging merits/distinctions), or equivalent, plus GCSE Maths, Science and English at grade 4 (C) or above.


Beyond your academic qualifications, we'll be looking for evidence that you're genuinely enthusiastic about developing a career in construction - what are your favourite buildings or structure, and why?

Whatever it is, we need to know you've thought things through and are fairly sure that this career is right for you.

You'll be analytical, methodical and good at solving problems, as well as articulate, driven and a fast learner.

We'll also ask you to tell us about times where you’ve shown motivation outside of academia – for example in playing sports, learning languages, organising a significant event or taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

We're also very keen to take on people who love working as a team because we all enjoy working with other people. So, we'll be interested in how you've worked in a group. That could be at school, with your family, in a sports team, at work, in voluntary organisations, such as the Guides, Scouts or Cadets, or as part of religious or community activities.


Stage 1: Information, Advice and Guidance

If you wish, you can attend one of our Higher Education information and advice events at Gateshead College to find out more about PlanBEE and ask any questions you may have about the employment and study elements of the programme. 

Stage 2: Application

Complete and submit the application form online. We will let you know we have received it.

Stage 3: Shortlisting

We will shortlist your form against the set criteria.

If you meet the criteria you will be invited for interview and assessment.

Make sure you apply as soon as you can, we don’t want you to miss out.

Stage 4: Interview & Assessment

If you are successfully shortlisted, you will be invited to attend for interview and assessment. This will consist of formal interview with a panel of employers, an informal question and answer session and a timed written assessment, testing your mathematical, communication and problem-solving skills. 

Stage 5: Success - you've got the job!

If you're successful at interview, you will be contacted within 1 week and told the good news. If not we will work with you to advise you on other options available to you.

Stage 6: Starting your employment and training programme

Once you accept, we do all we can to make joining us as straight forward as possible. You'll be put in touch with the right people immediately to make sure that you have access to a network of support right from the beginning and have all the information you need to get started on programme.

The programme will start in September 2020. 

Applications will be opening in January 2020. Until then you can rigister your interest by clicking the 'enquire' button on the course page here. We will contact you when applicaitons open.