20 November 2023
Initiated by Ryder in 2013, PlanBEE is an intensive construction design and build technician higher apprenticeship programme, underpinned by a higher education programme, leading to HNC and HND qualifications. The programme is a revolutionary route into the construction industry, providing students with rolling four month placements across a range of disciplines across over 60 businesses such as architects, interior designers, engineers, quantity surveyors, project managers and contractors. Expanding its reach, the program extended from Newcastle to Manchester in 2021 and further to London in 2023. Additionally, an affiliated program was launched in Vancouver in 2023.
We have had the pleasure of hosting several PlanBEE student placements over the past year here in the WRD studio. The students have been enthusiastic, capable, have quickly integrated themselves into the team and stepped up meet the fast pace of our working projects. Our current student, Grace Cameron is in her final year of the PlanBEE program and has shared her experience so far.
‘I have gained a real breadth of experience through each of my placements by moving between the specialities and learning to understand other people’s perspectives. I have felt that the experience has also allowed me to gain a depth of experience in each of my placements, despite the short 4 months that I have spent there, by doing real work from the beginning.’
Grace has completed three placements so far in the architecture, building services and landscape architecture disciplines. She joined the WRD team in September for her fourth, and has been helping to support on two of our large scale office fit-out projects alongside the respective project teams. This has included working on drawing packages, attending client meetings and carrying out site visits. Grace attends college one day per week, and spends the rest of her week with us.
‘My current placement is with Ward Robinson and my experience to date has been wonderful. The team have always showed a lot of enthusiasm when it comes to teaching and guiding me which allows me to get the most out of my time here. I have been given so many opportunities already and look forward for what is to come.’