One of the key pledges I set when I was elected was: deliver work experience and apprenticeships for every young person. This evening, at the ‘On Site’ annual awards me and my Cabinet Member for Education & Skills, Anna Keen, will be celebrating the achievements of apprentices and employers who are helping us fulfil that pledge.
Every year On Site supports over 300 apprentices, helping them into career opportunities in the construction industry. They work with over 200 employers, ranging from small local enterprises to major national housebuilders. On Site runs a schools outreach programme which promotes construction careers in over 40 local schools and colleges.
Bristol is growing, and new buildings are going up all the time. Over the coming decades we need to build thousands of new homes to support the region’s growth. The work On Site is doing is therefore crucial to opening up the employment and apprenticeship opportunities for local people. Apprenticeships and construction job opportunities are hugely valuable ways to develop sustainable careers. The On Site recruitment process enables candidates to access opportunities based on their potential, not just traditional qualifications, and their success rates are fantastic with 92% achieving their qualifications and moving into sustainable careers.
It is vital then that we celebrate the work of organisations like On Site and how successful they have been in helping local people to access jobs, training and opportunities jobs in construction. One thing that On Site does particularly well is open up opportunities for traditionally under-represented groups in the construction industry. Darren Perkins, Bristol City Council Apprenticeship Manager said: “At On Site Bristol we are working hard with local schools, businesses and our partners to tackle the male dominated image of construction in order to encourage more women to consider a career within the local industry. Construction is a major pillar of the UK’s economy, employing around 2.1 million people. But women make up just 11% of this industry. We are continuing to work on ideas to champion diversity and inclusion within the industry.”
These awards give us the chance to take a moment to reflect on the achievements of our talented young apprentices and I’d like to congratulate all our winners and nominees. The On Site Bristol team play an important role in creating these opportunities, inspiring apprentices and nurturing their talent. This is brilliant for our local industries as many of our past winners have gone on to start their own companies and take on apprentices of their own. As a Learning City we are always looking to create more opportunities for people to learn and I’d also like to thank the many employers offering quality apprenticeships to help make Bristol a more equal place to live and work.
For people who are interested On Site will be running an Open Evening on Wednesday 28th November at the Create Centre, Smeaton Road, Bristol, BS1 6XN, between 17:00 and 19:30. If you are interested in a career in the construction industry and are leaving education after year 11, 12 or 13 you should go along.
You can ring 0117 3521960 or visit www.onsitebristol.co.uk for more details.