Today we announce the launch of a local apprenticeship programme, in partnership with the Berkeley Group, supported by Ealing Council. The Berkeley Apprenticeship Scheme will offer valuable career opportunities to local people helping to increase the level of skilled workers throughout west London.

Construction apprenticeships attract, retain and develop talented people into a range of careers, including bricklaying, carpentry, electrical engineering and plumbing. The scheme is designed to take that work one step further by offering training for progression to supervisory and management levels, helping to provide the industry with a qualified and sustainable workforce and supporting the government’s pledge to have three million apprentices in the UK by 2020.

Berkeley Group gained planning consent earlier this year for the masterplan of Southall Waterside, an 88-acre regeneration project in west London, which will see the former gasworks transformed into a thriving new neighbourhood of 3,750 new homes alongside a new retail and leisure hub, community facilities and extensive open public realm.

Cllr Peter Mason, Cabinet Member for Prosperity, Skills, Employment and Transformation, Ealing Council, commented: “With glass and steel rapidly replacing traditional bricks and mortar as modern methods of construction, the industry offers decent paid, technically skilled jobs like never before. As we continue to grow our way out of austerity, we are grasping the opportunities for regeneration major investments like Crossrail offer our Borough. Through working with Berkeley to deliver their apprenticeship scheme, there are going to be many more opportunities for young people in Ealing to get a route into a lifelong profession, and gain a practical trade that will set them up for life.”

Karl Whiteman, Divisional Managing Director of Berkeley Homes, added:
“We are proud to be partnering with West London’s College to launch the Berkeley Apprenticeship Scheme. As a key component of delivering our vision for Southall Waterside, we will be offering young people living locally the chance to get involved in shaping their futures, that of their community and also the opportunity to learn lifelong skills.”

Garry Phillips, Chief Executive of West London’s College said:
“The College has a long standing history in the construction industry and the building profession and we are pleased to be working with Berkeley Group in providing students with the appropriate skills to help them gain the suitable employment in a growth sector.”

The scheme forms a part of Berkeley Group’s 2016-2018 commitment to provide training to 1,500 people through construction apprenticeships, its graduate scheme, or for those working on NVQ or equivalent qualifications. It follows the successes of an earlier commitment to increasing the number of apprentices and staff in work-based learning by 50% from May 2014 to April 2016; this target was exceeded with an increase of 127.5%.