Glasgow construction firm City Building has recruited 60 new craft trade apprentices, helping to tackle the industry’s skills gap and creating valuable job opportunities for young people across Glasgow.
This year’s intake includes aspiring joiners, heating engineers, lift engineers, painters and decorators, plasterers and plumbers.
City Building, which has been on a major drive to improve diversity across the business, confirmed that the new group includes a significant proportion of females, with young women accounting for 16% of the total. This figure represents a substantial increase compared with a recent survey, carried out by GenAnalytics, which found that 9% of City Building apprentices were female.
City Building’s latest female apprentice recruitment rate is also more than five times greater than that achieved across the wider industry. According to the Education and Skills Funding Agency just three per cent of construction apprenticeships were taken up last year (2017-18) by women.
Several other hard to reach groups were also represented amongst the City Building 2019 intake:
• 6.6% of the apprentices identify as BME (black and minority ethnic), which is also a rise compared with the 4% indicated by GenAnalytics’ analysis
• 3.3% are from mentoring programme MCR Pathways and have been in care
• Half are social housing tenants living in Wheatley Group properties.
The apprentices, who started in August, recently completed an intensive six-week training course to help them become ready for work. The course includes lessons on managing their finances, substance misuse and sexual health. They will be deployed to construction sites across the city this month [October] for on the job training whilst continuing to attend regular classes at the organisation’s Queenslie Training Centre, an in-house educational facility.
Dr Graham Paterson said: “It may have been many years ago, but I can still remember my early days as an apprentice joiner. It is a very daunting time in a young person’s life; there is lots to learn, not just about the job, but about becoming part of the workplace.
“I’d like to welcome all of our latest apprentices and wish them the very best as they start their career in construction here at City Building. We put a great deal of time and effort into training our apprentices and we are proud that we have one of the best qualification rates in the industry, with around 94% of our apprentices becoming time-served compared with an industry average of 75%.
“Encouraging and supporting the next generation is also crucial to our succession plans and ensuring our business continues to go from strength to strength.”
City Building, which seeks to combine industry-leading performance with socially responsible business practices, recently published its latest financial results. The figures showed that the organisation returned £9.1m to its city partners, Glasgow City Council, and Wheatley Group, to be reinvested in social housing and public services.
The firm was recently recognised as the Most Inspiring UK employer in national awards established to recognise diversity and inclusion in the built environment.