Some of the country's largest construction engineering consultancies have joined together to help develop talent in Liverpool and the North West.
Arup, Clancy Consulting, Mouchel, Steven Hunt and others have joined together in a 'consortium', launching a training scheme for budding engineers.
The work builds on a model started in London. Liverpool Community College has been chosen as the education partner in the North West. The apprenticeship scheme will give young people without qualifications the chance to pursue a professional career in engineering.
Steve Wynn, head of Liverpool Community College's construction section, said: 'This is a unique apprenticeship scheme which will give young people in Liverpool and across the region the opportunity to have a successful career in engineering.
'Traditionally, when it comes to professional careers in construction, these firms have largely recruited from university graduates. This new scheme gives young people without qualifications the opportunity to pursue a career in engineering. Through this scheme they can achieve the professional qualifications they need and study up to degree level while working.'
The scheme offers advanced technician apprenticeships in civil and building services engineering, delivering a qualification for what is a huge skills gap in the industry.
Once apprentices complete their formal studies, they will they will be in a position to apply for Engineering Technician status with either the Institution of Civil Engineering (ICE) or Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineering (CIBSE). If successful, they will become members of ICE or CIBSE which is then a stepping stone towards becoming a chartered engineer.
Jane Saynor, HR manager at Clancy Consulting, said: 'We realise there is undetected talent amongst young students who do not go to University. As an Apprentice Technician they have a valuable contribution to make in the team to deliver a project. Working closely with Liverpool Community college we can show there are alternative routes to succeed in engineering.'
Liverpool Community College is looking for other engineering firms in the North West to join the Consortium. Mr Wynn said: 'The consortium training scheme is all about firms coming together to grow young talent and helping that talent develop the skills they and their employer need. We are looking for more members to join the project, add their own influence to the training being offered and recruit their own apprentices through the scheme.'
According to Mr Wynn, this consortium project offers unique advantages to firms. He said: 'The consortium approach offers a great option for firms, instead of going through expensive recruitment and appointment processes, they can recruit an apprentice through the college then train them through the scheme, so they end up with a skilled employee, who has exactly the skills they need, but at a fraction of the cost of recruiting a graduate trainee.'
For more information on the consortium scheme, call 0151 252 4753.