NHBC opens Hull’s first bricklaying Training Hub

Hull’s first “real-life” bricklaying apprenticeship Training Hub opens to combat the national skills gap and housing shortage

the bricklaying apprentice team in site safety clothing smiling at the camera

A new apprenticeship training hub in Bransholme which will deliver the next generation of skilled house builders in the North of England has been unveiled by NHBC, the UK’s leading new home warranty and insurance provider.

The NHBC training hub, which officially opened on Thursday 12 October 2023, is in partnership with EN:Able Futures, a flexi-job apprenticeship provider and part of Efficiency North Holdings. Training 50 apprentices all year round to qualify in as little as 18 months, the facility equipped with classrooms, welfare and catering facilities will provide apprentices with a realistic working environment and initially focus on bricklaying.

Speaking at the opening, NHBC CEO, Steve Wood said: “Bricklaying is at the heart of housebuilding and a hugely important skill. An ageing workforce means we must find ways to encourage more people to come into housebuilding, with bricklaying being an excellent pathway into a rewarding and well-paid career. I am proud NHBC is committed to supporting the next generation of housebuilders. It’s fantastic to see them at the NHBC training hub where apprentices are equipped with the skills they need to build high-quality new homes, with this helping to close the skills gap and address the UK’s housing shortage. NHBC’s apprenticeships are for everyone and we’re delighted to see people from all backgrounds coming through, including school leavers, career changers and women wanting to work in house building. It’s never too late to learn a new skill!”

Since becoming a registered apprenticeship provider in 2020, around 400 people have progressed through NHBC’s bricklaying and construction site supervisor programmes. The courses have been designed with input from across the industry to make sure they meet the needs of employers and employees alike. Alice Clay, 18, from Patrington, Hull, was the first female to recently gain her 2 bricklaying apprenticeship with a Distinction at an NHBC training hub. She said she enjoyed it as an alternative to the more traditional college option.

At today’s opening, Alice who is employed by Keepmoat said: “I’m the first female apprentice bricklayer to pass at an NHBC apprenticeship training hub. I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I left school. I was going to do a course at college, but I hated sitting down at school all day. I knew I wanted a practical job, so the NHBC apprenticeship training programme was perfect. There’s a lot to learn but the NHBC apprenticeship training hub means I can learn each part and apply it immediately back on site. I initially started with five weeks at the Training hub and then I was ready to go on site and put into practice the knowledge and skills I’d learnt. I’d then come back to the hub, learn more and be focused and confident to go back onto site again which was great. I get all the support and feedback I need from my tutor at the NHBC hub. It makes a real difference that he’s worked in the industry for years himself. I’ve enjoyed meeting lots of new people too and, of course, I’m getting paid whilst I’m learning, plus I now have a skill for life."

“I’ve not been treated any differently just because I’m a female bricklayer. It hasn’t made a difference or affected me in any way – why should it? I’d say to any girl leaving school or woman looking to change career - go for it! You can earn brilliant money and more women are getting into the house-building industry as it has great career prospects which people don’t always realise. I’ve got a job lined up as a self-employed bricklayer as part of a gang and eventually, I’d like to work my way up into a management role.”

The NHBC apprenticeship ttraining hub based in Wawne Road is the fourth dedicated training facility by the insurance and warranty provider who are training the next generation of housebuilders along with its other hubs based in Tamworth, Newcastle and Cambridge. Today’s opening strengthens NHBC’s core purpose of raising house building standards by championing high-quality homes.

Lee Parkinson, Chief Executive of Efficiency North said: “As an organisation, we are continually striving to provide better opportunities for the North of England, and the partnership we have established with the NHBC training hub is pivotal to our offering. It’s not only about supporting individuals through their bricklaying apprenticeships to gain a qualification, but it’s also equally important they have the skills and knowledge to translate what they learn into a real site environment – which is what the NHBC training hub does so well.

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