Construction partnership celebrates student diversity figures

Leeds College of Building and construction partner, BAM, is celebrating student diversity figures as they join the rest of the country in marking National Apprenticeship Week.

Since choosing Leeds College of Building as a training provider four years ago, BAM has significantly increased the number of female apprentices enrolled on its Level 4 programme.

In 2020, apprentices across BAM Nuttall and BAM Construct were brought together for the first time as a combined college cohort after listening to the businesses’ needs. Around 40 BAM Nuttall and 12 BAM Construct apprentices attend Leeds College of Building each year, joining over 300 employed nationally by BAM. This merger enhanced inclusivity and collaboration across the organisations.

Females in construction management, site supervisor, quantity surveying, and civil engineering apprenticeships has risen from 20% to nearly 30%, compared to just one in eight (12.5%) construction workers nationally.

Furthermore, the apprenticeship programme is also nearly three times more ethnically diverse than recorded in the construction sector. The Office for National Statistics has found that black, asian and minority ethnic representation stands at 15%, compared to less than 6% of construction workers nationally.

BAM cites the inspiring diversity of staff in the Leeds College of Building lecturing team as of significant benefit to the apprenticeship programme. Over the last decade, a focus on apprenticeships has resulted in a massive growth of the college’s technical and professional training and the team who deliver it.

Today, the Faculty of Higher Education, Construction Design & Management at Leeds College of Building employs 30% female staff (out of a total of 56 staff). Female lecturers come from a wide range careers including architecture, civil engineering, quantity surveying, and transport planning. Among the role models is Nikki Davis, the first female vice-principal at Leeds College of Building.

Chris Tunningley, assistant director in the Faculty of the Built Environment and Engineering Services at Leeds College of Building, said: “I am incredibly proud of our work with apprentices at Leeds College of Building. We aim to encourage an opportunity for all, across a wide range of quality apprenticeships, however this would not be possible without our excellent staff and employers like BAM providing the opportunities.

“Together, we can play our part in pushing the industry forwards and highlighting the diverse range of opportunities available in the construction industry. ‘Build the Future’ is the theme for #NAW2021, so what better representation of the future than building a diverse workforce in our sector.”