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Berkeley Group set to launch local apprenticeship scheme in partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Greenwich Community College

November 2014

The Berkeley Group, one of the market leaders in the property development industry, has announced that it is launching a local apprenticeship programme. The official launch of the Berkeley Apprenticeship Scheme will take place on 13 November 2014 at Devonport House, Greenwich, between 1pm and 4pm.

The Berkeley Group's charitable arm, the Berkeley Foundation, is committed to getting another 250 young people into employment across the Group from June 2014 to June 2015. Already, the Berkeley Group provides structured training to over 700 young adults, through construction apprenticeships, its graduate scheme, or for those working on GNVQ or equivalent qualifications. The business has committed to increasing the number of apprentices and staff in work-based learning by 50 per cent on its 2012-14 figures.

Working with the support of Greenwich Community College and the Royal Borough of Greenwich's employment initiative Greenwich Local Labour and Business (GLLaB), the Berkeley Group has developed the Berkeley Apprenticeship Scheme. This offers career opportunities to local young people, helping to increase the level of skilled workers within the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Traditionally construction apprenticeships have helped to attract, retain and develop talented people into a range of craft occupations. These include painting and decorating, bricklaying, plastering, site carpentry, electrical engineering and plumbing - all skills which GLLaB has identified as being in demand. The scheme is designed to offer progression to supervisory and management levels, helping to provide the industry with a well-trained productive workforce.

: "I am delighted that the council is supporting Berkeley with the creation of new apprenticeship opportunities in construction. Berkeley is showing real leadership in this area and strong commitment to addressing the growing training and apprenticeship deficit that exists across the sector.? This work will, I hope, go some way towards building the capacity of the local construction workforce, feeding through to greater numbers of local people benefiting from regeneration and growth." : "We are proud to be partnering with Greenwich Community College and the Royal Borough of Greenwich to launch the Berkeley Apprenticeship Scheme. As the developer responsible for delivering Kidbrooke Village and Royal Arsenal Riverside we are keen to offer young people living locally the chance to get involved in shaping their future and that of their community. The programme will provide them with the opportunity to learn lifelong skills and create places to live in which they can feel good."

Councillor Sizwe James, cabinet member for business, employment and skills, said: "I am delighted that the council is supporting Berkeley with the creation of new apprenticeship opportunities in construction.? Berkeley is showing real leadership in this area and strong commitment to addressing the growing training and apprenticeship deficit that exists across the sector.? This work will, I hope, go some way towards building the capacity of the local construction workforce, feeding through to greater numbers of local people benefiting from regeneration and growth."

Karl Whiteman, divisional managing director of Berkeley Homes, comments: "We are proud to be partnering with Greenwich Community College and the Royal Borough of Greenwich to launch the Berkeley Apprenticeship Scheme. As the developer responsible for delivering Kidbrooke Village and Royal Arsenal Riverside we are keen to offer young people living locally the chance to get involved in shaping their future and that of their community. The programme will provide them with the opportunity to learn lifelong skills and create places to live in which they can feel good."

Greenwich Community College has now expanded its apprenticeship offer to include all of these opportunities. The Intermediate (Level 2) Apprenticeship takes 18 months to complete, while the Advanced (Level 3) Apprenticeship is structured as a three year programme. Apprentices will be based at Kidbrooke Village's specialist Construction Skills Centre, where they will receive both practical and theoretical training as part of the scheme. The Centre, which opened in July this year, is the fourth in the borough, and is a mobile building which can be transferred from site to site.

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