Stephenson Colleges partner Barratt Developments plc has launched the country’s first ever residential apprenticeship course for bricklayers. The new course will see recruits able to gain the skills to join a building site and lay bricks to a production standard in just 3 weeks compared to around 6 months via the normal day release route.

Upon completing the first 3 week residence at Stephenson College, the apprentices will have sufficient skills to lay bricks to a line so they can contribute whilst on site. They will also be fully health and safety trained and have a new CSCS card. After 18 months spent mixing residential and on-site time, plus a final exam, they will then become a fully qualified Level 2 bricklayer. This is a big time saving compared to the normal 24-30 months which the non-residential apprenticeship usually takes!

Many newly qualified brick layers often struggle to find jobs as they lack work experience and the practical knowledge gained from actually being on site building new homes. The new apprenticeship instead delivers work ready recruits with bags of experience who are able to make an important contribution to building more homes. 

Steven Boyes, Chief Operating Officer at Barratt Developments, said: “Our regional teams constantly ask us why can’t they get more bricklayers trained more quickly? We’ve taken that on board to create this new residential pilot that greatly speeds up how long it takes to train new bricklayers and gives them the skills they need to contribute on site. We know from apprentice feedback that it is the number one thing they want –to have enough skills to lay bricks and be of practical use whilst out on site. The course also delivers very high quality standards giving the new bricklayers the skills which are required from a 5 star housebuilder.”

The new accelerated apprenticeship will start in late September with around 30 recruits joining the course to become new Level 2 bricklayers in March 2020.