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Business & Economy

Barratt Homes partners with Foundation of Light to bridge North East skills gap

Barratt Developments has partnered with Sunderland charity Foundation of Light to offer a new training scheme for young people, with the hope of increasing the number of skilled construction workers in the North East.

Starting from September, the Barratt Homes Construction Academy will be based in state-of-the-art facilities at the Beacon of Light and will offer a series of training courses and apprenticeships designed to help participants get work-ready qualifications, all with a focus on building new homes.

The group — which was originally founded in the North East and includes both the Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes brands — hopes to increase motivation and self-esteem in young people by offering a variety of courses, as well as providing practical training and work experience within the construction sector.

Barratt Homes hope that the scheme will create a “pipeline of talented young people” who can help to bridge the skills gap within the construction industry, creating the next generation of home builders.

The scheme will offer three courses: Enterprise Programme, Bespoke Enterprise Programme, and Back on Track scheme.

The Enterprise Programme aims to help secondary-school pupils 14 years and older develop their business skillset and will offer students a chance to gain a Level 3 Certificate in Business and Enterprise.

A course for students aged 15 and over, the Bespoke Enterprise Programme combines the basic Enterprise Programme with an additional course that teaches skills related to the construction of Barratt Homes, and will offer work placements to all involved.

For young people aged 16–19, the Back on Track scheme will give participants the chance to improve essential literacy and numeracy skillsets, as well as various practical activities taking place in and out of the classroom that are designed to improve their employability.

Back on Track participants will also have the opportunity to gain a Level 1 Construction qualification and two-week work placement. Successful students will be put in touch with local employers for interviews at the end of the course.

Carl Sobolewski, managing director of Barratt Developments in the North East, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be launching Barratt Homes Construction Academy with Foundation of Light this September.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to support young people across the North East, helping to train the next generation of housebuilders. We look forward to seeing the academy come to life later this year and we strongly encourage anyone who is interested to apply.”

Phil King, commercial director at Foundation of Light, added: “It’s a wonderful scheme that will produce fantastic results with all those involved, and we look forward to seeing the future generations of the construction industry develop right here in the heart of Sunderland.”