Helping hands: how Barking & Dagenham College assists housebuilders

Sarah McCurrie, director of apprenticeships, partnerships and business engagement at Barking & Dagenham College (BDC), talks to us about what the organisation offers to help the construction industry find the people they need through apprenticeships and training.

What sort of construction-related companies do you work with, and does housebuilding represent a big part of that sector?

We are working with a wide range of companies across the construction sector, however new projects such as Barking Riverside are bringing a large selection of housebuilders into the local area. We work closely with the local authority of Barking & Dagenham to support apprenticeship training and delivery.

We are currently working with Berkeley Homes, Volker Fitzpatrick, Swift Brickwork, Pimlico Plumbers, Balfour Beatty, Jerram Falkus along with a number of new companies in the near future as we enrol new apprentices within the sector.

How does the college/housebuilder relationship operate?

Barking & Dagenham College Employer Engagement team works closely with the housebuilders, running Organisational Needs Analysis and Training Needs analysis to support the companies to make the improvements in staff training through apprenticeships.

We also offer additional employer services such as our Apprentice Works ATA [Apprentice Training Agency]. Barking & Dagenham College recently launched that to provide a simple and flexible solution for businesses who would benefit from an apprentice but who are put off by the paperwork. Very simply, Apprenticeships Work Ltd would recruit and employ the apprentice for you and hire them out to your business for an all-inclusive weekly fee. That leaves you free to concentrate on running your business, leaving us to manage the recruitment, payroll and on-going HR admin on your behalf.

You can find out more about Apprenticeships Work Ltd by calling 020 8090 3020 ext 7333 or click here to send an email to the team.

What does BDC offer potential partners that differentiates it from other colleges?

Barking & Dagenham College is one of London’s leading providers of apprenticeship training, trusted by hundreds of employers every year who commission us to deliver an all-round service from recruitment to training and helping you make the most of the funding available.

Whether you are a sole trader or a multi-national, well-trained employees will keep your business healthy. To develop the skills of your workforce effectively, you need flexible training options that are designed around your business. That’s where Barking & Dagenham College Business Engagement Team can help: supporting you with an apprenticeship which is a fantastic opportunity for you to equip your business with the most up-to-date skills around to give themselves an edge against competitors.

We work effectively with employers through our employer engagement team. We understand and support each other and deliver master classes, employer launch days, inspiration days, innovation events, and a range or external support events, too, for recruitment.

From the college perspective, are you seeing any effects of increasing housing targets and what do you think the future will bring in terms of potential students and the type of courses that will be required as a result?

We have definitely seen an increase in construction-type apprenticeships, especially through the trades and into higher level apprenticeships in Construction Design Management.

For housebuilders in the region looking to change their apprenticeship approach, or take on their first, what’s the best way for them to find out what BDC can offer?

For more information on the Levy, please contact the Employer Engagement team on 020 3667 0333.

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