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Building College links with leading UK housebuilder

by Jennie Ward

Leeds College of Building is teaming up with UK housebuilder The Guinness Partnership to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week 2020.

The housebuilder is managing the new housing development opposite the College’s South Bank Campus, with construction due to start later this year. This will be the largest development in Guinness’s 130-year history, and will provide 928 homes as the basis for a dynamic community for local people and residents.

Guinness is committed to working with the College to develop opportunities for students, including career talks, employability skills, site visits, work placements and apprenticeships.

Two areas that the housing provider is looking to focus on in particular are addressing the national skills shortage and diversity in the workplace – both of which are key elements of the College’s strategic objectives. 

This year is the 13th annual National Apprenticeship Week, coordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service, which is an annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships across England and acts as a time to recognise and applaud apprenticeship success stories across the country. 

The College currently has 2,500 apprentices on programme, with 2,250 of these training in Leeds, and a large number of apprentices progressing from the College’s 16-18 study programme provision. Strong links with organisations, such as The Guinness Partnership, that can support students with their career choices is vital.

Derek Whitehead, CEO & Principal at Leeds College of Building, said: “While classroom and workshop studies are essential, there is no doubt of the importance of site visits, work placements and job opportunities. Projects such as these give our students incredible insight into new developments within the industry; they benefit immensely from seeing what life is like on a live site.”

Catriona Simons, Chief Executive of Guinness, added: “We are delighted to be partnering with Leeds College of Building to promote high quality training through apprenticeships in the community we serve in Leeds. Appenticeships are a key way of promoting skills development and increasing diversity across the construction and housing maintenance sectors. This partnership will enable students to gain real experience and insight into the careers available, while contributing to the delivery of affordable homes in the Leeds area.”

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