Newcastle United Foundation teams up with PlanBEE
Newcastle United Foundation has joined forces with Gateshead College and some of the North East’s top employers to help young people start a professional career in the construction industry.
Through a growing network of North East employers, the Foundation’s Employability team have been continuing to support 18 to 29 year-olds into employment, training, and educational opportunities through the pandemic and are now launching a new programme, PlanBEE Kick Off.
The project comprises some of the region’s leading companies, including Newcastle-headquartered Ryder – designers of the Foundation’s new home, NUCASTLE – and construction service company, Robertson Group.
PlanBEE Kick Off is a newly-developed strand of the award-winning PlanBEE (Built Environment Education) programme, developed by Ryder, Gateshead College and a consortium of companies across the sector, to inspire young adults into technical and professional roles in architecture, engineering, building services and construction or site management.
Dawn Barber, Newcastle United Foundation’s Business Network Manager, said: “Our Employability team are thrilled to be part of PlanBEE Kick Off, which offers an alternative route for young people to gain high-skilled, industry employment without attending university.
“We know that younger generations are among the hardest hit by the ongoing pandemic. Youth unemployment rates are rising and many young adults have lost work over the past year through no fault of their own.
“It is vitally important we continue to support, engage and inspire young people not in education, employment or training and provide opportunities to gain experience within our region’s skilled sectors.”
PlanBEE, a higher apprenticeship programme, was launched in 2013 by Ryder and now comprises more than 20 regional and national businesses keen to address the skills and talent gap in the construction industry and facilitate opportunities for young people to train and pursue careers in the built environment sector.
Working with the Foundation, the consortium have now seized the opportunity to further develop the programme to provide a route into work for young people who are currently unemployed, providing a paid six-month work placement alongside training and the potential to move onto an apprenticeship.
Peter Barker, Partner at Ryder, said: “We’re delighted to be working with our partners to expand our successful PlanBEE apprenticeship programme. This will be a great opportunity for those in our local community who may have missed out on a career in design and construction to re-engage and develop their skills.
“The programme will offer exciting and diverse learning for young people to develop their skills, based on real project experience – empowering them to embark on a new career pathway into the construction industry.”
Chris Toon, Deputy Principal at Gateshead College, said: “It’s really difficult for many young people at the moment so this is a fantastic opportunity to develop the PlanBEE programme and create something which will provide high quality placements and training in construction.
“It is ideal for those looking for a step on the ladder, a route into a job and potentially a longer term career in the industry. The success of PlanBEE is that it was developed hand in hand with employers so it’s relevant to the skills they need in their businesses and this new programme will do the same.”