Construction company Careys and Milton Keynes College have launched a three-year partnership that offers a groundworker apprenticeship to local students.
Groundworkers are the first trade on to a construction and civil engineering site and work closely with supervisors and engineers in interpreting design specifications to prepare the site ready for the structural building works to take place.
Their work typically includes setting out and preparing the sub-surfaces ready for the structural work to begin, installing drainage systems, concreting, constructing roads and pathways and carrying out the finished hard landscaping.
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The level 2 groundworker apprenticeship, which takes 15 months to complete, provides students with a range of skills which provide a career path that allow students to segway into heavy construction and civil engineering as well as house building, commercial building and general building, while providing a professional working environment to develop their employability skills.
In addition to the groundworker students, the campus is also the home to the Anglian Water alliance full time pre-apprenticeship students – a year-long training programme designed to provide students with core skills and ready them for a guaranteed apprenticeship interview upon completion of the course.
Under the partnership Careys have also committed to providing curriculum development assistance to ensure the college’s delivery of the course reflects the needs and requirements of the industry.
Delivery of the apprenticeship will be carried out from the Careys Milton Keynes office, which under the terms of the partnership has become a joint Careys and Milton Keynes College campus. The college will take over the ground floor of the building, where the meeting rooms and open-plan environment provide space for classroom-based learning, with all practical based work carried out in the yard area at the rear of the building. Careys will continue to use the offices on the first floor of the building.
Jason Carey, chef executive of The Carey Group, said: “We are proud to have a rich heritage in Milton Keyes that spans four decades. This, combined with our vision ‘To be the most trusted and socially responsible construction company, that people are proud to work with’ makes our partnership a natural fit.”
He added: “Two students from the college have already started their apprenticeship with Careys at our Gravenhill Pioneer Road Roundabout project and we look forward to welcoming many more – not just in to Careys but the wider industry in general – over the coming months and years.”
Careys regional director, Midlands, Tom Wraight added: “Construction is suffering from a shortage of skilled workers, currently some 40,000 vacancies across the industry – the highest figure since 2001, and we also have an aging workforce. The groundworker course provides a brilliant opportunity to nurture and develop the next generation of skilled workers addressing an industry wide problem.”
Anna Clarke, group director, Employer Engagement and Partnerships, Milton Keynes College Group, said: “This partnership with Careys opens a whole host of opportunities for students to learn and develop their skills and relationships within industry. At MK College we always strive to offer the best educational experiences, and this is a great example of how working with industry partners can help us to achieve that. We are excited to see the outcomes for our students from this partnership.”