New apprenticeship scheme offers opportunities in key Manchester construction projects

A new apprenticeship scheme launching today (Thursday 27 May) will give Manchester residents the chance to launch careers in construction – while working on some of the city’s highest profile projects.

Manchester City Council and Manchester Life have joined forces with Ryder Architecture to launch the new PlanBEE scheme, which is open for enrolment today and commences September 2021.

Apprentices will get the chance to earn while they learn on schemes including the Our Town Hall project to restore, repair and partially refurbish Manchester Town Hall, Manchester Life’s developments in Ancoats and The Factory arts venue.

Anyone over 18 and living in a Manchester City Council postcode looking to establish their career in the construction sector is invited to apply.

The two-year multi-disciplinary programme will help meet the need for skilled employees within the North West construction sector, and equip young people to thrive in the industry which is rapidly evolving with new construction methods and technologies.

Successful candidates will be employed to learn on the job, with a starting salary of more than £17,000 and be taught multiple disciplines within the sector, including architecture, structural and building services engineering and management and project and cost management on various schemes.

Each person will rotate across employers based across the city over two years, including the City Council, Manchester Life, Ryder, Purcell, Ramboll, Faithful and Gould, Sisk, Turner & Townsend, Buttress and Eric Wright Construction.

PlanBEE Manchester ensures continuity of the Manchester Life and Manchester City Council apprentice scheme M-Futures which commenced in 2015, and builds on the programme successfully launched by Ryder Architecture in 2016, working in partnership with Gateshead College to create opportunities across

Councillor Bev Craig, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Manchester City Council has long been committed to making sure that all of our residents share the city’s successes. We are determined that investments in major Manchester projects such as Our Town Hall and the Factory deliver the maximum possible benefits for our city and its residents.

“This includes opening up opportunities for people who live in the city to learn new skills and build new careers, something that’s especially important as we begin to recover from the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. We hope that, as well as school leavers, people who have lost employment during the pandemic and might be looking to retrain will consider applying.

"Despite the uncertainties of the pandemic we will continue to make sure investment in our city delivers for our residents.”

Ian Knight, Programme Director at Manchester Life, said: “Success for Manchester Life and its partners is about not only the physical spaces we create and the resulting communities that thrive but also the life chances we create for young people. Our previous apprenticeship programmes with our partners have been incredibly successful in developing and launching the careers of young leaders within our industry.

As we embark on our next phase of development in Ancoats, we want to partner with our trusted suppliers to create more opportunities for our PlanBEE apprentices.”

PlanBEE combines the strengths of the successful M-Futures Higher Apprenticeship in Construction Management and the nationally award-winning PlanBEE programme that has been running in the

North East for over five years with 94% of graduates securing a role in the sector or progressing to a higher level of study.

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