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Kier first to hire digital apprentices

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Kier has become the first major contractor to take on digital construction apprentices under a pioneering new programme.

Developed through the Trailblazer process, where groups of employers come together as early adopters of new apprenticeship standards, it builds on the Digital Engineering Technician Standard and will focus on applying BIM.

Kier’s first cohort of eight apprentices have been selected and they will now start a two-year programme within its construction and infrastructure businesses.

The apprentices will work on projects across a range of frameworks and sectors requiring BIM Level 2.

They will implement BIM and use a variety of technologies to assist in the delivery of projects as part of the course.

Working in partnership with Learning Skills Partnership and BIM experts T3 Training & Development, the digital construction apprenticeship will combine theoretical study and practical training.

Within this structured and supported programme, apprentices will undertake a varied and fascinating mix of courses – from technology and design in construction and civil engineering, to sustainable construction and health, safety and welfare.

At the end of the apprenticeship, apprentices will achieve a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment and an NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Built Environment design, within the overarching “Digital Engineering Technician” Apprenticeship Standard.

In addition, this will provide further opportunities to gain membership to a range of professional institutions. Individuals will also be given the opportunity to complete the BRE BIM essentials and advanced information management online courses which will provide further continued professional development.

James Franklin, BIM lead at Kier Group, said: “The reception to our digital construction apprenticeship scheme has been fantastic. We believe this apprenticeship is unlike any other, offering a truly unique insight in to BIM and digital innovation and its importance within the built environment.

“Our first cohort of apprentices have just started and we are looking forward to them being a part of key projects within Kier and helping us to shape the world we live in.

The digital construction apprenticeship builds on the proactive approach Kier has taken to inspire the next generation of talent to consider a career within the built environment.

Kier’s Shaping Your World campaign is designed to inspire generation Z (11-15-year-olds) using augmented reality and Virtual World Plaques at a number of its sites across the country that the public can engage with and learn more about the project, the people behind it and the benefits it has brought to the local community. 

As part of this, Kier has created a 1% pledge, whereby 1% of its workforce will engage with 10,000 students at schools and colleges across the UK over the next 12 months.

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Our first cohort of apprentices have just started and we are looking forward to them being a part of key projects within Kier and helping us to shape the world we live in.– James Franklin, Kier Group