• Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

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GMI Construction Group joins Northern Coalition on Skills to address falling North East apprenticeship levels

GMI Construction Group has joined the Northern Coalition on Skills as part of its commitment to support the levelling up agenda.

Claire Preston, the company’s Head of Responsible Business, was invited to join the Coalition, formed by the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, with the aim of transforming the skills system.

The Coalition brings together representatives from across the Northern business community to act as a catalyst for much-needed reform.

Its first ambition is to restore, and then exceed the number of apprenticeships available in the North to pre-pandemic levels by introducing greater flexibility within the apprenticeship levy.

Across the Northern Powerhouse area, the number of those starting an apprenticeship in 2019/20 fell by 5,400 (8%) to 63,900 and in 2020/21 that fell by a further 13,600 (21%) to 50,300.

In the North East the number of apprenticeships fell from 11,200 in 2019/20 to 8,500 in 2020/21 – a drop of 2,700.

With an office in Stockton-on Tees, GMI Construction Group, which employs 213 people, has long championed apprenticeships and undergraduate work placements.

Its dedication to developing modern construction skills through earn and learn opportunities recently gained it membership of the prestigious 5% Club, having recently recruited three apprentices to bring its cohort to 13.

As part of its commitment to levelling up, it has also signed up to both the Care Leaver Covenant and the Armed Forces Covenant, pledging to support young people as they move from local authority care to living independently, together with armed forces veterans and reservists

GMI Construction Group is responsible for major infrastructure projects that are helping to transform the North East by creating prosperity and jobs.

These include the construction of the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Advanced Engineering (CESAM) in Sunderland, part of the International Manufacturing Park, which will provide research, development, innovation, and training facilities for businesses across the North East. It is currently involved in the first phase of the £80m Hillthorn Business Park in Washington, which will eventually deliver 630,00 sq. ft of industrial and advanced manufacturing space.

Claire Preston said: “We value construction apprenticeships, trainees, and graduates extremely highly as a way of developing new employees with the hands-on skills, experience, and education that are required within the sector.

“I’m proud to be joining the Northern Coalition on Skills and hope, along with other businesses across the North, we can make inspiring and practical changes to the skills system to create more and values apprenticeship opportunities which will deliver the North a skilled and adaptable workforce.”

Lee Powell, Chief Executive Officer for GMI Construction Group, said: “Construction as an industry is creating the Northern Powerhouse and making levelling up a reality through the provision of factories, logistics centres, and offices – modern infrastructure that will generate the long-term economic prosperity the North requires.

“I’m pleased that GMI can contribute its expertise and knowledge to the Coalition, with an opportunity to bring about even greater change.”

By admin