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Business & Economy

National Apprenticeship Week: PlanBEE expands into rail

A North East apprenticeship scheme developed to tackle construction skills shortages is expanding into the rail sector.

PlanBEE, an apprenticeship programme founded by Gateshead College and Ryder Architecture, will now offer opportunities to those wanting to pursue a career in project management.

The college has joined forces with Network Rail and its supply chain partners to launch PlanBEE Rail, which aims to develop a new generation of multidisciplinary project managers, specifically trained to meet the changing needs of the rail sector.

Apprentices will gain hands-on experience of some of the UK’s most significant infrastructure projects, including the Transpennine Route Upgrade and Digital Railway programmes, and Northern Powerhouse Rail.

Chris Toon, deputy principal at Gateshead College, said: “We are very proud to be launching PlanBEE Rail, which will offer the same life-changing career opportunities for those looking to pursue a career in project management within the rail sector.

“The PlanBEE programme has been a massive success story in the North East, with 98 per cent of our graduates securing roles in the built environment sector.

“PlanBEE is a truly innovative programme, which has the flexibility to be adapted to different markets and geographical areas.

“It brings together businesses to provide each apprentice with a flexible range of skills to meet the needs of a sector.

“The kind of opportunities PlanBEE offers can’t be found on any other apprenticeship anywhere else in the country.”

During the two-year PlanBEE Rail programme, successful candidates will complete four six-month placements working for leading employers in the rail sector.

Tim Craddock, HR director at Network Rail eastern region, added: “PlanBEE Rail is a fabulous opportunity to start a dynamic career in rail –  it is not just a standard apprenticeship programme; it’s a strategic initiative to bring talent into the rail industry by working collaboratively with our supply chain partners.

“This approach ensures our apprentices will not only gain a valuable qualification but will get the opportunity to work with a range of employers across the sector.

“In doing so, they will be able to develop the skills and understanding necessary to becoming fully qualified project management professionals.”

Successful candidates will be based in York, Leeds, Doncaster and Huddersfield, and will be employed to learn on the job, with a starting salary of more than £22,000.