Students’ build careers as safe as houses

18 June 2021

Teesside students are laying the foundations for future careers thanks to a regional partnership.

Northern Skills Group – the training and apprenticeship arm of Middlesbrough College – has been working with housing developer Gleeson Homes to provide students with recognised qualifications as well as valuable workplace experience through apprenticeships.

With the support of Northern Skills Group, Gleeson is taking on more apprentices in September to hone their skills brick by brick.

Jim Smith, apprentice quantity surveyor at Gleeson, has been doing his apprenticeship for 18 months and will be starting his degree in September whilst gaining valuable work experience with the housing developer.

He said: “The hands-on learning you get from an apprenticeship is fantastic. At Gleeson, every day is different and it gives me the independence and confidence to learn new skills and improve as a quantity surveyor.

The 21-year-old has received support from Northern Skills Group throughout his apprenticeship.

Jim continued: “The support I’ve received from Northern Skills Group has been really good during my apprenticeship. I have frequent meetings with my assessor to catch up on the progress I’m making and we’ve always had a good working relationship.

“It was a great decision for me to go down this route over going to University as I’m an independent person. I’d definitely recommend going through Northern Skills Group to other students as apprenticeships are one of the best things you can do.”

Nathaniel Crinson, commercial manager at Gleeson said: “Jim has been doing great since he first arrived – he has slowly been exposed to the key responsibilities that come with being a quantity surveyor and developed his skills layer by layer. When you get good people in, like Jim, it fast tracks them and he’s quickly moving into a new role.  

“Apprenticeships provide young people with a great springboard to get in the industry which works well for businesses as you don’t have to go out and find someone who might not have the right skills – you are getting someone tailor made for your business.

“Taking on apprentices is a perfect route for local businesses and I’d fully recommend it for the construction sector. It’s a two-way street as this type of skill building – from the ground up – benefits all parties as it builds loyalty with young staff while adapting training to the needs of the company.

Gleeson hosts annual awards which recognises the achievements of apprentices and is actively involved in the progress they’re making – Jim recently received the Shining Star award for being the top apprentice at Gleeson and is soon to be promoted to assistant quantity surveyor.

Sheffield College provides a managed service for Gleeson, acting as Lead Provider for apprenticeship delivery. Northern Skills Group, as a preferred supplier of Sheffield College, delivers apprenticeships for Gleeson.

Middlesbrough College works with Northern Skills Group to deliver more than 100 types of programmes to around 2,700 apprentices across the North East and Yorkshire.


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