53 Apprenticeships delivered in 3 years

2 Aug 2016

With the launch of our new Community Engagement Report, we are celebrating each of the headline achievements featured. Here we talk about our apprenticeship schemes that helped to deliver 53 apprenticeships between 2013 and 2016. ​

Hammerson is committed to providing skills and employment opportunities for those local to our assets. A major strand of this activity is the creation and support of Apprenticeship Schemes, delivered both directly within Hammerson and through our construction partners and suppliers. We believe Apprenticeships present a multitude of opportunities, including:

  • Developing the next generation of retailers and shopping centre management
  • Moulding young talent to provide better customer service
  • Presenting internal employee opportunities to mentor Apprentices
  • Supporting the national agenda for vocational training for young people
  • Helping to improve the perception of retail careers

In the three years between 2013 and 2016, Hammerson supported 53 apprenticeships. The vast majority of these were run as construction apprenticeship schemes, delivered as part of our long term development plans, and in conjunction with partners including Graham, BAM, Barr and Sir Robert McAlpine. However, in 2015, Highcross, our Leicester shopping centre signed up to become the first shopping centre to deliver a Retail Pathways Apprenticeship Scheme. The scheme presents a wildly different apprenticeship offering to the previous construction focused schemes. 

Introducing some of our Apprenticeship Schemes

Here we take a look at a couple of our Apprenticeship schemes... 

WestQuay Watermark Apprenticeship Scheme

Committed to supporting local employment, WestQuay Watermark has already provided over 1,140 job opportunities, with over 40% of those employed coming from the local area. And in 2015 the team welcomed three apprentices to site. Here is what two of our apprentices had to say about the experience…

Alex Mason, a Year 10 student at Wyvern College who successfully managed to enrol onto the Surveying Pathways traineeship programme. The programme provides early opportunities for pupils in Year 10 and 11 to work with local employers, gain an additional qualification and help address the construction skills shortage in Surveying. Students undertake work experience for a day a week over a two-year period where they obtain an NVQ Level 2 Certificate in Surveying. They are required to complete this alongside their normal GCSE studies, helping them to develop their organisational skills.

'At Watermark, one of the best things about my time here is the range of topics I have covered and the wider knowledge I have gained about surveying and general working life. I have had the opportunity to complete all sorts of work ranging from Client Care to collecting and analysing data to Sustainability.

The Surveying Pathways course not only prepares you for a career in surveying but also allows the potential for employability in many other areas such as becoming an actuary or possibly studying construction law. Therefore, being able to acquire high level and transferable skills, my university or college applications in the future will look better.

I enjoy the freedom and the independence I get when completing jobs or tasks. I've learnt so much in a hardworking yet enjoyable atmosphere.‘

- Alex Mason, Apprentice

Kira King, a local resident was recruited onto an Apprenticeship Scheme and is currently studying two courses on a day release basis at Eastleigh College. She is enrolled on the Btec Level 3 Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment and Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Construction Contracting Operations. She chose this course as she felt it would give her a wide range of skills that can be used to further her career within the industry.

‘I heard about the position at Watermark after getting in contact with CoTrain about an apprenticeship in construction and I was keen to apply.

During my time at Watermark, I have learnt about different aspects of surveying, levelling and feel I have gained many skills in those areas. I have also done a small amount of work looking at partitions for the building, comparing the plans to the building and gaining an understanding of whether it is all going up correctly. I have also spent some time on site looking at health and safety aspects, helping out with health and safety checks on site and ensuring everything is compliant with regulations. Additionally, I have also spent time reading through and looking at the plans for the building and going to site to develop my understanding of knowing where everything is in relation to the building plans."

- Kira King, Apprentice

Highcross, London, Retail Pathways, Apprenticeship Scheme

The BSCS Retail trust, National Skills Academy and Highcross Leicester joined forces to deliver the Retail Path programme. The scheme is designed to help young people into employment and a career in retail. Highcross Leicester was the first shopping centre and member of the scheme to successfully sign up both retailers to support the programme, and apprentices.

During 2015 three apprentices were placed in an apprenticeship at Highcross. The scheme was unique in that it crossed over shopping centre operations and retail. Retailers including TM Lewin provided placement opportunities for apprentices to experience retail first hand. The shopping centre operations team provided experience across multiple areas of shopping centre operations such as marketing and facilities.

Beyond 2015

For 2016 and beyond, our commitment to Apprenticeships is growing, with a commitment to develop a portfolio wide Apprenticeship Scheme by 2020, that delivers quality opportunities for local people surrounding our assets.