May 6, 2021

Construction firms join forces on degree apprenticeships set to address industry skills-gap

Two new joint apprenticeships bringing together two national construction companies with Sheffield Hallam University to address industry skills gaps are set to launch this month. New apprentices from BAM are set to join learners from Kier on the construction quantity surveying and construction site management degree apprenticeships.

Both prepare apprentices for professional careers in construction by providing the technical knowledge, initiative, and interpersonal skills the industry demands.

All apprentices work full-time for their respective company and receive their teaching in week-long blocks throughout the year.

The announcement comes as part of National Apprenticeship Week (8-14 February), the annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships which is running this year on the theme of ‘Build the Future’.

Sarah May, business development lead in the University’s Department of Natural and Built Environment, said: “I’m delighted that we are able to welcome BAM to our current construction programmes with Kier.

“The block teaching system works really well as students can really build up that rapport with their peers over those weeks.  It gives them a chance start building those relationships which will be helpful further down the line when they are both working on construction projects together.

“The lines of communication are always open so we can respond to the needs of the sector and create a brighter future for the construction industry.”

Paul Skerry, early careers and professional development manager at BAM, said: “We’re thrilled to be joining Kier on the programme and look forward to fostering the next generation of construction talent.

Paul Skerry, early careers and professional development manager at BAM

“The flexibility of Sheffield Hallam providing both construction management and quantity surveying is a real plus for both BAM UK operating companies. The relationships we build from the programme will further enhance our collaboration in future construction projects.”

BAM Construction is currently engaged with Sheffield Hallam University on a five-year, first-of-its-kind Alliance which is yet another sign of innovative, joined-up working between the higher education and construction sectors. It will deliver a range of new buildings across the University’s campus.

Judy Middleton, head of organisational development at Kier, said: “We have been working with Sheffield Hallam to deliver our degree programme since 2011, more recently as an apprenticeship programme, and we are thrilled that BAM is going to be joining us.

“The course is truly unique and working with BAM means we will provide the next generation of talent with a well-balanced platform to either start their career journey, or to upskill into a different area.”

The new joint apprenticeship programme with Kier and BAM starts on Monday 22nd February.

As one of the UK’s earliest adopters of degree apprenticeships in 2015, followed by the opening of the National Centre of Excellence for Degree Apprenticeships (NCEDA), Sheffield Hallam has been recognised as a pioneering hub for the innovation, design and delivery of degree apprenticeships.

They work by taking a work-based blended learning approach with modules delivered through a combination of online and face-to-face lectures, class-based and online seminars, practical work and site visits.