Housebuilder plans to expand its West London Construction Academy
Berkeley Group plans to ramp up the training offer at its West London Construction Academy as part of its goal of luring high-quality newcomers to join the company.
Rob Perrins, the housebuilder’s chief executive, said the centre’s training offer – which currently includes bricklaying, carpentry, drylining and kitchen fitting – would be expanded.
Together with education partner West London College, Berkeley established the academy in Southall, west London in October last year.
As well as increasing the scope of the academy Perrins outlined a range of other new measures to increase the housebuilder’s intake of staff.
Berkeley planned to invest more in early careers, lead on smart construction, launch a recruitment campaign to target 50 construction ambassadors from within the firm’s ranks, Perrins said.
It also planned to increase its engagement in schools and expand its contribution to the wider construction industry’s Open Doors initiative, which offers members of the public the chance to visit key construction sites across the UK.
The Berkeley boss was speaking at the Berkeley’s 2019 apprentice awards, held in London last week, which saw apprentice site manager Ruby Lee named best overall for her “exceptional on-site performance and wider commitments to encouraging more women to join the built environment sector”.
Berkeley said that nearly 10% of its direct workforce took part in some form of training in 2018/19, including 150 apprentices, plus graduates and other staff on certified training programmes.