Employers PlanBEE on site Employers PlanBEE on site

PlanBEE attracts talented, bright young people with an interest in design and construction management

PlanBEE is an industry driven, higher level skills programme designed to encourage young people to select a career in the built environment.

In 2023 Ryder Architecture identified a skills and talent gap and wanted to provided new a skills based training programme to bring more young people in to the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector.

Ryder created a Plan for Built Environment Education, now known as “PlanBEE”, by bringing together Gateshead College and key partners in the AEC sector 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.

PlanBEE focuses on the technical and managerial aspects of design and construction and is accredited by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education and underpinned with HNC and HND qualifications at level 4 and 5. It combines higher education with working with some of the biggest names with the AEC sector in the UK.

PlanBEE currently offers apprenticeships with over 60 sponsor companies in the North East, Manchester and London, including: Arup, Cundall, Cast Consultancy, Fletcher Priest Architects, Gleeds, Mace, Morgan Sindall, Sir Robert McAlpine and Ryder– many large, leading businesses in the field of architecture, engineering and construction as well as many SMEs consultants and contractors.

Would you like to take on a PlanBEE apprentice?

How does the PlanBEE programme work?

This Higher Apprenticeship is designed to recruit and train our next generation of multidisciplinary project managers, with the opportunity to work on some of the UK’s most innovative infrastructure projects.

The PlanBEE programme runs over a two year period, when apprentices undertake six work placements of four months each, with different sponsor organisations.

Each apprentice gains a broad and varied experience of working in different roles, with exposure to architecture, civil and services engineering, quantity surveying and construction management. 

PlanBEE apprentices will work on real, live projects and are treated as full time employees during their time at each sponsor organisation.

The programme is enhanced by professional mentoring, site visits, technical challenges and competitions. Each apprentice works in the sponsor organisation for four days per week and studies for the HNC and HND qualification one day per week through a Gateshead College course.

Interested in taking on a PlanBEE apprentice?

PlanBEE is a cost effective and innovative way to recruit and develop talented young people.

This intensive Higher Apprenticeship has been designed by employers to meets their need, with a focus on leadership, economics, design, technology and production. As well as offering the apprentices the opportunity to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of multi-disciplinary roles and collaborative working across the AEC sector.

98% of PlanBEE graduates have progressed to permanent roles in the sector.

To submit your expression of interest in sponsoring a PlanBEE apprentice, complete the form here.


  • A cost effective and innovative way to recruit and develop talented young people.
  • Intensive Higher Apprenticeship designed by employers that meets industry need.
  • Focus on Leadership, Economics, Design, Technology and Production.
  • Broad content designed to ensure greater understanding and appreciation of multi-disciplinary roles and collaborative working.
  • 98% of PlanBEE graduates have progressed to permanent roles in the sector.
“PlanBEE is an extensive Higher Apprenticeship designed by employers that understand industry need. It focuses on leadership, design and construction management. The quality of apprentices we have worked with have been incredible. We would have previously only taken on graduates, but now we fully support PlanBEE apprentices.”
Paul Sperring Associate Director, Cundall
“The PlanBEE programme affords the opportunity for apprentices to see and experience what we do first hand with the aim of selecting a career in engineering. The quality of the students is outstanding, with a real appetite to learn, both in work and in the college. This is a truly unique apprenticeship with real results and opportunities for full time employment once complete"
David Starbuck Director, Desco
“My first placement was with Bowmer+Kirkland, a main contractor construction firm. I joined a project where they were building a primary school and I was able to work onsite with the quantity surveying team, supporting with take-off measurements for materials and cost comparisons. Gaining experience like this from reputable companies is extremely valuable and also helps us (PlanBee apprentices) stand out to employers.”
Joseph Mackenzie Apprentice
"The chance to rotate around different companies and experience different professions. As far as I know, there is no other apprenticeship route that allows you to be placed with different companies to learn different skills in such a short period of time. To be able to say after 2 years that I have worked in 6 different professions with 6 different companies on a multitude of different types of projects is invaluable experience."
Eliza Taylor Apprentice

If you’re interested in finding out more about becoming a PlanBEE sponsor, please click here.