The power of experience and industry leaders of the future


Scott Bell Early Talent Manager - Europe Hub
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When people think about apprenticeships they often think about traditional trades and crafts, and for good reason. A national apprenticeship system of training was first introduced to England in 1563 and construction trades have been among the most common apprenticeships. Today’s apprenticeships still combine practical and academic study, but there’s now an abundance of choice available to people.

At Laing O’Rourke many of our senior leaders began their careers as apprentices, and the vocational route to career development is not uncommon throughout our industry.

Today’s apprentice might be the traditional school leaver, embarking on a trade or technical role but equally, they could be an A-Level student opting for a Professional Apprenticeship that combines work and study (with their university fees paid for and a wage earned). It’s an appealing option for many who aspire to qualify with a degree, but do not want the burden of student debt. Alternatively, an apprentice could be an experienced professional who is taking the opportunity to upskill or re-train, to advance their career or to head in a new direction.

We currently have 450 apprentices working across a range of sectors, roles and projects. The programmes they are a part of use 36 different types of apprenticeship standards to develop the skills for 60 different roles.

Our current model means that in the UK, we provide apprenticeships through our professional, and trade & technical programmes. As part of our commitment to provide development opportunities for our existing employees, we have also utilised an apprenticeship model to provide programmes such as the Data Academy. These programmes range from level 2 (GCSE) up to level 6 (degree), and are part of a collaborative approach with 33 colleges and universities across the UK.

We are dedicated to helping apprenticeships contribute to the transformation of our industry. Recently we have worked closely with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education to develop seven occupational standards, three of which are due to be reviewed alongside industry peers later this year, and we have also worked alongside the Department for Education to validate three T-Levels (a new equivalent to A-Levels) with an apprenticeship progression map for each of them.

Traditionally, apprenticeships in the construction industry have consisted of workforce roles, however today’s apprenticeship offering is much broader. Last year, we launched Business Management, Payroll Administration, HR assistant, Data Technician and Data Analytics apprenticeships, all of which were provided for the first time. The reason is simple: we must change if we are to become the leaders for innovation and excellence in construction, and redefine how construction delivers.

Recruitment for our 2022 Professional Apprenticeship Programme is now closed. We will be launching new Trade and Technical apprenticeships in March, so be sure to check the Laing O'Rourke careers website then if those opportunities interest you.