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PlanBEE Apprenticeship Programme seeking London employers

PlanBEE Ryder

London has one of the most diverse populations of young people in the world with almost 20% of all Londoners under the age of 25. With a population that is rapidly growing and changing, these young people must be seen as valuable assets to the capital’s economy, now and into the future.

PlanBEE, an award winning higher apprenticeship, is matching young people with work in the capital to secure their future and driving long term success for the city’s built environment.

The PlanBEE is an apprenticeship with a difference, it runs over a two-year period and offers a series of six work placements. Students typically get exposure to architecture, civil, structural and services engineering, quantity surveying and construction management. They spend four days a week at work and one day at college. They earn money from day one and are employed productively on real projects.

In a key difference from other work placement schemes, the companies, or “sponsors”, backing PlanBEE do

not employ the students directly. Instead, a separate subsidiary company invoices the sponsoring firms and pays the salaries of the apprentices.

This new approach is proving to be a success in London after already operating successfully in Newcastle and Manchester.

PlanBEE, which represents “Plan for Built Environment Education” has to date provided 105 apprenticeships places with a 98% success rate of young people securing full time, permanent employment in the built environment upon completion.

PlanBEE was originally set up by Ryder Architecture, an international architecture practice that thrives on a culture that values education and the development of young people.

Peter Barker, a Partner at Ryder commented: “For many years Ryder has been working with schools, colleges, universities and community groups to provide innovative programmes that help young people in their career development and understand the rewards a career in the built environment can bring.

“Ryder goes beyond simply bridging skills gaps, it wants young people to be excited by architecture, engineering and construction as an integrated industry, and to recognise the abundance of opportunities available to them in these professions.

“PlanBEE is a hybrid Level 4 and Level 5 qualification with Gateshead College, comprising HNC and HND qualifications in design construction and management. Digital design and coordination is also at the core of the learning, and students become extremely proficient in a range of software. It is also underpinned by the construction, design and build technician apprenticeship standard at Level 4.

“The holistic and rotational nature of the PlanBEE programme is one of its key strengths and an important differentiator to a costly university degree. By offering a diverse range of paid placements and experiences, the students not only build an invaluable understanding of how the sector works across disciplines, but they are left completely free to go in the direction that best suits them.”

Ryder makes it very clear that a key element of the programme is that, upon successful completion, there is a clear progression route and every student is guaranteed an interview for roles within the sponsor companies.

In London, Ryder has partnered with the London School of Architecture and founding learning provider Gateshead College to deliver the programme. PlanBEE currently offers apprenticeships with over 60 sponsor companies 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.  

John Nahar, London School of Architecture Engagement Manager Director said: “The future of PlanBEE in London lies in the collaboration and support from industry. As young people in London take their first steps in their careers, apprenticeships offer the perfect opportunity to develop their skills, build their confidence, and prepare them on the pathway to a fulfilling career.  

“At LSA we are passionate about making a difference to the lives of young people – particularly from underrepresented sector demographics and underserved communities – and actively seek out new routes for young people to get in to architecture. Having the support of London practices, means we can offer more young people greater opportunities.” 

“Through this exciting placement across various built environment disciplines, apprentices benefit from a range of perspectives across construction, broadening their understand of what it means to have a career in the construction industry. This early career understanding of the wider sector and what jobs and roles are on offer, provides valuable experience for apprentices.”

PlanBEE is actively seeking sponsors in London for this September. Find out more about PlanBEE here and how to get your company involved.

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