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Minister for Skills kicks off National Apprenticeship Week at Paddington Square

Today, Monday 7 February, the UK’s Minister for Skills, Alex Burghart MP, begun National Apprenticeship Week by meeting apprentices at Paddington Square, London’s new quarter for work, retail and leisure at the heart of Paddington’s regeneration.

The Minister met with apprentices being trained in a number of different disciplines, including quantity surveying and construction management and had an opportunity to learn about the huge potential on offer through apprenticeship programmes in construction and the positive impact Paddington Square will have on the local community.

National Apprenticeship Week is a week-long national celebration of apprentices, and brings together apprenticeship ambassadors, apprentices, and employers to celebrate the work being done across the whole apprenticeship community, promoting apprenticeships and their impact.

Paddington Square is set to complete later this year and consists of 350,000 sq ft of office space over 14 floors, 80,000 sq ft of retail and dining space, West London’s highest rooftop restaurant, a 1.35-acre public square and a new Bakerloo Line ticket hall. The project has been designed by Shard Architect Renzo Piano, and is being delivered by developer Sellar and main contractor Mace on behalf of Great Western Developments Ltd.

Sellar developed an ambitious employment and skills strategy for Paddington Square in collaboration Westminster City Council to ensure the provision of training to local people to support them into specialist jobs and apprenticeships, from the construction phase of the project through to its operational phase once opened.

Mace’s appointment as main contractor was critical in being able to deliver on the construction phase of the strategy with Mace’s award-winning apprenticeship programme offering work experience and qualification opportunities across quantity surveying, digital, data, construction management, building services, civil engineering, and project management.

Mace is investing in the next generation of construction skills through its apprenticeship programme, with five apprentices learning onsite at Paddington Square and with more than 130 apprentices employed across the country. From a digital control room for data tracking, to modern methods of construction, the Paddington Square apprentices are gaining knowledge on one of the UK’s most innovative construction environments.

Alex Burghart MP, Minister for Skills, said:

“Apprentices are a crucial part of the country’s workforce, and it was fantastic to meet such a diverse group of passionate and committed young people today at Paddington Square.

 “In order to build back better, we need more young people who are passionate about pursuing professional qualifications while gaining invaluable hands-on work experience. I was delighted to see a cutting-edge learning environment here at Paddington Square, where the apprentices are getting hands-on experience in the latest construction methods – getting the skills and experience needed to build a well-paid and fulfilling career.”

Mark Reynolds, Group Chairman and Chief Executive at Mace, said:

“I am delighted to welcome the Minister for Skills at Paddington Square to kick off National Apprenticeship Week 2022. Apprenticeships are vital for the future of our industry’s transformation journey and attracting young people to construction careers is a sector-wide challenge that we’re working tirelessly to address.

“We offer leading apprenticeship opportunities, with work experience and qualifications on some of the country’s most complex projects and programmes. We’re committed to shaping the next generation of construction skills, building better, faster and far more sustainably.”

James Sellar, CEO of Sellar, said:

“Apprenticeships are of key importance to Sellar and GWD, with great credit due to Mace for the work they are doing in this arena. The skills these young leaders learn as they support the design and build of a true landmark London development will equip this new generation with invaluable experience at the cutting-edge of our industry.

“We are grateful to the Minister for visiting and observing the great work being undertaken by the apprentices. Paddington Square is an exemplar of best-in-class practices and is a building with sustainability at its core, and the lessons learned here will stand these apprentices in excellent stead as they progress to play crucial roles in the continued evolution of London’s urban fabric.”

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Paddington Square - Mace apprentices and Minister for Skills