Education secretary launches National Apprenticeship Week

Education secretary Gavin Williamson has met apprentices from Mace to find out more about the next generation of digital skills required by the construction sector.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson has launched this year’s National Apprenticeship Week by meeting apprentices from Mace to find out more about the next generation of digital skills required by the construction sector. 

The visit was hosted at UCL East, the site of a new, state-of-the-arts UCL campus being built by Mace as part of East Bank on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. 

The minister met with apprentice Santini Holmes and trainee Michael Pearson, who demonstrated the use of a ‘BIM cave’; a cutting-edge digital construction tool that helps to visualise design and construction data and models.

He also met with Mace group chief executive Mark Reynolds, skills lead for the construction leadership council, to discuss how the construction industry can ensure it builds the right pipeline of skills for the future.

National Apprenticeship Week is an annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships across England, and Mace directly employs more than 100 apprentices and trainees across the UK in a range of different roles and supports hundreds more through its supply chain.

Mark Reynolds, Mace’s group chief executive, said: “I am extremely proud of Mace’s industry-leading apprenticeship programme; and it was fantastic to see our talented young people demonstrating their skills to the secretary of state. We cannot deliver the next generation of construction technologies and processes if we do not have access to a diverse range of talents; which is why apprenticeships are vital to the future of the industry.”

Gavin Williamson, education secretary, said: “It was brilliant to meet some of Mace’s talented apprentices today and see first-hand the exciting work they are doing at the cutting edge of the construction sector. We are levelling up skills and opportunities so the next generation can unleash their full potential and are prepared for the jobs of the future, and apprenticeships are a key part of this.”

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