New apprenticeship programme in housebuilding launched

(L-R) Alan Cadenhead (Miller Homes), Paul Alford (CITB) and Susan Hudson (Stewart Milne Group)

A new fast-track modern apprenticeship programme led by Stewart Milne Group is being piloted during Scottish Apprenticeship Week.

The housebuilder and offsite construction solutions provider has led the development of the programme in a bid to help address the skills gap in the construction industry.

The group has been working with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) on the first Modern Apprenticeship (MA) pathway in Construction Site Supervision – Residential Development, as part of its commitment to help develop a sustainable talent pipeline for the sector.

The pathway offers apprentices the opportunity to train as construction site supervisors with a view to becoming site managers in the future, and has been developed following consultation with housebuilders, trade bodies, unions, sector skills councils and training providers. It is specifically designed for the housebuilding industry and will be rolled out for use by all housebuilders.

Susan Hudson, learning and development manager at Stewart Milne Group said, “Initially, we were exploring the design of a programme to develop our own assistant site managers. We quickly realised that our approach could help other housebuilders and decided to take a proactive lead on this to the benefit of the wider industry.

“Taking an industry-demand led approach, we approached Skills Development Scotland, Homes for Scotland and the CITB to see if the programme could be accredited and funded for the industry. We’re really proud to now be launching the pilot programme.

“As well as being a great opportunity for those currently working in the industry who are looking for career progression, the programme will also be used to market the benefits to school leavers and those undertaking college based studies, who don’t necessarily want to go to University, but still want to have the opportunity to develop a professional career in a fantastic industry.”

Ms Hudson added, “The launch and content of this programme will both increase the volume and improve the calibre of individuals who become site managers within the housebuilding industry.

“Companies are able to adapt the generic programme to incorporate their own cultural and business model as part of an overall internal skills academy to attract, engage and retain staff.”

The framework allows an individual to gain the MA using an SVQ in Construction Site Supervision, coupled with an industry recognised supervisory qualification – the ILM Diploma in Management and Leadership Practice for the Construction and Built Environment sector. Participating employers will deliver on-the-job learning relevant to their own company, meaning the programme can be tailored to support each housebuilder.

Paul Allford, standards and qualifications policy manager at CITB said, “This additional new route, using the Scottish Modern Apprenticeship in Site Supervision, will allow employees to progress to become the site managers of the future.  The programme will allow school, college and university leavers, as well as those progressing their careers in construction, to access a tailored programme which will equip them with the skills for a managerial career in the housebuilding sector.”

Edinburgh-based housebuilder, Miller Homes, has agreed to place two members of staff onto the pilot programme. Alan Cadenhead, group HR and employee development manager at Miller Homes added, “The Modern Apprenticeship provides an excellent opportunity to further develop individuals and we are delighted to be involved in the pilot programme.

“We have made nominations from our current trainees to participate in the pilot in parallel with our own Development Academy training programme and we will look to integrate the programme into our own development plans for future trainees joining the company.”