Students’ careers to get firm foundations

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Staff at one of the country’s biggest housing developers have become the construction industry’s first ever students to enrol onto a custom-made foundation degree programme at Sheffield Hallam University.

Barratt Developments has provided funding for 100 employees to study for a degree in residential development and construction.

The tailor-made programme, designed in partnership with the company, will equip staff with the skills and expertise to help strengthen the firm in the future.

The first cohort of 40 students attended an induction day where they met with university staff and their designated mentors, together with Hallam’s Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor John Leach and Barratt chief executive Mark Clare.

The students will return to the university in January where they will begin the three year part-time course that will see them combine practical and classroom-based learning.

On completion of the foundation programme they will have the opportunity to study an 18 month top-up course, after which they will be awarded a BSc honours degree.

Professor Paul Watson said: “In partnership we’ve worked really hard to create this unique programme, designed specifically for Barratt to help upskill its workforce and enable it to compete with the increasing demands of the industry.

“We have listened to the firm’s aims and aspirations to create a programme that will allow the students to have an input into the future of Barratt and help it to strengthen and grow.”

Student Bethan Powell said: “It’s a great feeling to be involved in such a big company, and I’m hoping to work my way up through the ranks.”