In the spirit of National Apprenticeship Week, Mace hosted and supported multiple events across the UK in order to raise the profile of apprenticeship programs. Mace used the week to promote its commitment to apprenticeships with different project teams working with project partners to run events for local colleges. Events took place in London, Manchester and Birmingham, and are highlighted below.
In partnership with Southwark College, Mace and its sponsors hosted a construction skills competition in which students of different academic levels and trades completed a mini industry challenge. Mace’s Andy Hider, business unit director, and Shaun Tate, project director, opened the event alongside Judy Lowe, Deputy Chair of Construction Skills, Valerie Shawcross, GLA Member for Southwark and Member of Parliament, Simon Hughes.
During the competition, in which approximately 40 students competed, the sponsors were given a tour of the college and introduced to the students. This gave students the opportunity to talk with Mace’s suppliers and make valuable contacts. Throughout the day the Mace employment and skills team talked to the students about what the industry demands from apprentices and gave advice about how best to get into the industry.
After sponsors had selected their category winners, the awards presentation began with ex-ground force legend Tommy Walsh and ex-New Zealand rugby player Zin Zan Brooke awarding medals. After the presentation the finalists also heard an inspirational speech from east London local Tim Campbell, winner of the first ever show ‘The Apprentice’. A thank you must go to the Mace MEP team and Mace supply chain members who supported this event.
Zinzan Brooke, said: “It was really great to see young guys and girls who appeared to be completely unaffected by the negative press that seems to cast a cloud on youth employment. I was very impressed by the attitude of these young workers who seemed to thrive on the competitive aspect of the day yet in many cases was willing to help others when needed. As we all know the work place is a highly competitive environment but there are opportunities for keen new starters with a ‘can do’ attitude. This is a fantastic initiative and Bob and Tony, supported by Mace who continue to do a great job providing a springboard for these young workers. The responsibility now falls on us in the industry to ensure these efforts aren’t wasted and these youngsters with talent and a positive attitude, are given the opportunity to establish a career”
In Manchester, Mace and partners Trafford Council, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and Trafford College, held a Contractors’ Master Class at the Skills Centre in Trafford. The event gave an opportunity for over 100 candidates to demonstrate their skills in brickwork, blockwork, electrical and general joinery.
As the Construction Manager for the build of the new Coronation Street site at MediaCityUK, ITV supported Mace’s commitment to local employment and apprenticeships by sending cast members from the programme to present awards to candidates who demonstrated the most promise in each construction area.
The Master Class brought together those seeking apprenticeship with local contractors working on the project, and already figures are coming in of people getting places from the day.
In Birmingham, partners of the Birmingham Gateway project, Mace, Network Rail and Birmingham City Council made a pledge to create 100 apprenticeships across Birmingham and the West Midlands as part of National Apprenticeship Week.
In a presentation from Mace’s Richard Thorpe, director of delivery, Cllr Huxtable, Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Environment and Regeneration and Judy Lowe, Deputy Chair of Construction Skills, the partnership promised to deliver 100 apprenticeships to local people by 2015. With the launch of this new promise, the redevelopment of Birmingham New Street Station is aiming to generate over 1,000 jobs during construction.
Cllr Huxtable said: "The Council's pledge is to ensure all organisations delivering the transformation of New Street Station understand and commit to achieving outstanding added value for Birmingham people and businesses. The City Apprenticeship Hub for Birmingham will reinforce our approach and provide much needed support, making it easier for companies to employ apprentices."