One of the UK’s largest multidisciplinary practices, BDP, has announced the appointment of its first three apprentices as part of a new recruitment strategy to bring new talent and younger people into the firm.
Daniel Ingham, 23, and Connor Sugden, 20, join BDP’s environmental engineering team, while Callum Simister, 18, joins BDP as apprentice civil and structural engineer. The practice is also exploring the idea of taking on architectural apprentices.
The announcement comes as new statistics published today show that despite the number of people starting an apprenticeship rising in total, the number being awarded them in construction and planning is falling. Provisional figures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills showed numbers in the built environment dropped from 28,090 in 2010/2011 to 22,960 in 2011/2012. Overall, the provisional data shows that for the full 2011/12 academic year (August 2011 to July 2012) 502,500 people started an apprenticeship across all industries. The industry expects the fall to be even greater for 2012/2013.
Philip Simcock, BDP’s civil and structural engineering director for the north, said the firm was keen to bring in younger people who did not necessarily want to spend years in academia. “Both myself and Rob Ferry [environmental engineering director at BDP’s Manchester studio] have come up through the technician route and are keen to give others an opportunity.”
Simcock added that BDP was keen to take on more apprentices in the future. It had already discussed the idea of taking on an architectural apprentice, but currently no national training framework had been set up which the firm could comply with, but this was an area BDP’s HR team would continue to explore.
BDP was assisted in the recruitment of the apprentices by Manchester City Council and main contractor Laing O’Rourke as part of the Regeneration, Employment and Skills Plan (RESP) on the Manchester Town Hall Complex Transformation Project (MTHCTP), where BDP is appointed as environmental engineer.
The apprentices will be attending college on a day release basis as part of a National Apprenticeship framework whilst working towards professional qualification with CIBSE/ICE.
Commenting on his apprenticeship Daniel Ingham said: “With BDP being such a recognised international company I was extremely happy to be offered a place with them on their apprenticeship programme and was excited to get into the office and start learning all about building services engineering. Since starting the support I have received even so soon in the programme has been great. I am now looking forward to completing my college course and hopefully progressing onto a long and fulfilling career here at BDP.”
The Town Hall Complex Transformation programme is seeing the town hall extension and Central Library extensively refurbished to deliver state-of-the-art services and preserve both grade II*-listed gems for future generations. Some 66 new apprenticeships will be created and a further 19 existing apprenticeships supported through the project.
Left to right: Connor Sugden, Callum Simister, Daniel Ingham