One of our newest partnerships is with BAM Nuttall, which specialises in civil engineering and is part of the Royal BAM Group of civil engineers, one of the biggest civil engineering companies in Europe. The group employs 20,000 people globally, with an annual turnover of £7 billion.
We spoke to Andrew Dorree, the National STEM Lead at BAM Nuttall, who attended our open event in October.
What does your job involve?
I work on BAM’s pre-apprenticeship programmes so I work with UTCs around the UK. UTCs are really important to us, alongside secondary schools and colleges. People may not realise how crucial engineering is to construction. Civil engineering is one of the core engineering roles and my job is to create a talent pipeline of engineers that comes into BAM Nuttall.
What sort of project is BAM Nuttall involved with?
BAM Nuttall works on projects that are usually publicly funded, so things like flood alleviation, motorways, railways. We’re doing lots of infrastructure projects and improvement schemes around Leeds and West Yorkshire at the moment. For example, all the new park and ride places around Elland Road, that’s us. We’re working really closely with Leeds City Council. We have a lot of work to complete in Yorkshire in the next 10 years.
How are you going to work with UTC Leeds?
Our vision for our partnership is that UTC Leeds will be a really strong talent pipeline provider for us. Once the students finish at the UTC, they can progress to Leeds College of Building over the road which does all of our apprenticeships. They offer a range of higher apprenticeships.
We plan to work really closely with the UTC on curriculum development. I’m a former teacher so I’m looking at what parts of the UTC Leeds’ curriculum lends itself to civil engineering, or quantity surveying and professional construction studies, and looking at how we can help to contextualise that learning. Application of the content is completely key.
Why is applying learning so important?
Students who can sit down and do an exam is one skill, which is important, but students who can apply their mathematics learning to a vocation is a completely different skill and it’s one that’s also very important. It’s a more viable skill for us in many ways.
Why do you want to work with UTCs?
Year on year we need 200,000 engineers in this country for all the different types of engineering roles. At the moment there is a 60,000 shortfall every year. If you start adding those years up it’s not long before you get towards a massive shortfall of 600,000 within ten years. UTCs specialise in engineering.
One of the reasons we want to work with UTC Leeds is that your curriculum is a bit more flexible, the things you do with your students are more flexible, you operate more like a college, so we can get more out of the partnership.