The drive to recruit more young people from London’s docklands into careers in the construction industry went up a gear as Ballymore celebrates its partnership with local boroughs in a new training programme aimed at supporting local talent.
As National Apprenticeship Week put the spotlight on training, Ballymore became one of the first developers in Tower Hamlets to partner with the London Legacy Development Corporation and Class of Your Own to assist with the delivery of Design, Engineer, Construct!, (DEC!), a learning programme specifically aimed at boosting the career prospects of secondary school children.
Ballymore’s involvement is set to make a difference. Class of Your Own’s Matt Simmons, responsible for the organisation’s curriculum and partnerships said: “Ballymore understands the industry’s need to attract more people into this sector.
“We’re dedicated to helping people find careers which are meaningful – roles they actually want to fulfil – it’s something we couldn’t do without the likes of Ballymore and their support.”
DEC! works through collaboration, partnering with the London Legacy Development Corporation, schools and businesses. Matt and his team have a remit improve the delivery of STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) and built environment education in four boroughs surrounding Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
“We’re already working with around 200 students,” he added. “With Ballymore, eight schools and a few other businesses, we are collaborating to fly the flag for careers in the built environment – with a focus on instilling the career paths and benefits into young people from an early age.”
“The beauty of the process means that these young people are almost ‘pre-approved’ before they undertake the apprenticeships.” Ballymore has taken several DEC! graduates on work experience programmes, and have plans in place to put them on to apprenticeship programmes.
Matt continued: “Thanks to developers like Ballymore, our graduates gain so much exposure to the sector that they’re in a great position to make an informed decision about which discipline to pursue as a career. They don’t want to just work in property; they understand the intricacies of becoming a surveyor or an architect.”
John Turner, Town Planning Director at Ballymore: “We are thrilled to have nurtured a fruitful relationship with DEC. It’s not just about financial support - we’re very much embedded in the programme, giving talks and workshops to local schools and getting involved in the classroom – not to mention the prospect of taking on more apprentices in the future.
“We look forward to enhancing our involvement with DEC! and future, local talent for a long time to come.”
With existing initiatives such as the Higher Apprenticeship programme targetting the under-represented communities of BMEs and women, Ballymore already supports the General Training Academy, set up by the Tower Hamlets brokerage organisation WorkPath, helping local residents undertake required training and accreditation to get good jobs.