The innovative Building Birmingham Scholarship programme is celebrating a successful first year with an event taking place in the city today (Dec 12).
Launched by Birmingham City Council in November 2013, the programme provides access to a wide range of education, employment and training opportunities for young people aged 16 to 24 wishing to pursue a career in the construction sector, including financial support for those aspiring to continue studies at higher education on construction related courses.
To celebrate the schemeâ€™s achievements, and to thank those who have contributed to its success, the city councilâ€™s Employment Access Team is hosting an event at the MAC, in Cannon Hill Park, which will include lunch, speeches, talks by 2013 scholars and networking opportunities.
Cllr Penny Holbrook, the councilâ€™s cabinet member for Skills, Learning and Culture, and Cllr Tahir Ali, cabinet member Development, Transport and the Economy, will be among the speakers.
Cllr Holbrook said: â€œI am delighted that the first year of this programme has been such a resounding success. We want to help empower young people with the skills and experience they need to achieve their ambitions and this is exactly what the Building Birmingham Scholarship programme is doing.
â€œI would like to congratulate everyone who has taken part, from the students who have truly excelled, through to the partner agencies, consultants and stakeholders who have all helped ensure that we really have something to shout about after just one year.â€
Cllr Ali said: â€œThis scholarship programme is groundbreaking, innovative and a real demonstration of what can be achieved when the city council and construction sectorÂ work together to support our young people into employment. It has inspired youngsters to take an interest in Birminghamâ€™s built environment and, through higher education, shape and change the landscape of our city.
â€œBy offering coaching, mentoring and financial support through this programme, we will see a whole range of new housing and construction professionals emerge from the very areas of Birmingham we are aiming to improve, through our house building programme.â€
Further information on the Building Birmingham Scholarship programme is available at www.birmingham.gov.uk/bbs.
Sabila Zaman, 20, of Ward End, achieved an overall first in her first year and undertook a work placement with construction company EC Harris. The feat is even more remarkable considering Sabila switched her studies from pharmaceutical science to construction after realising that was where her passion lay.
She said: â€œThe scholarship programme has helped support my degree in construction management at Birmingham City University; I received coaching, mentoring and financial support which has helped me focus on my studies without constantly having to worry about my financial situation.
â€œThrough the help and support of the programme, I was able to make connections and network with a wide range of construction organisations on the cityâ€™s Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust (BMHT) house-building programme, which has given me greater confidence. My placement at EC Harris allowed me to advance my knowledge in construction, which I know will complement my studies and give me invaluable first-hand experience.â€
Another successful bursary scholar, Courtney Daniel, 25, from Newtown, secured himself a placement at developer Jessup as a trainee site manager during the summer.
He said: â€œThe placement helped me put my learning into practice and work on some of the BMHT development sites. This experience will also help me learn some valuable skills which will help support my studies.â€