Hopwood Hall and BES partnership create full-time jobs for northwest learners

Date published: 20 October 2023

Rochdale-based specialist design consultants and contractors, BES Ltd, has recently recruited two new learners from Hopwood Hall College and University Centre and a third apprentice, Umair Iqbal, joins this month, as part of the company’s rolling apprenticeship programme. Ben Hamlin, Matthew Cowen and Umair Iqbal are among the first cohort to join BES as part of the government’s new technical qualification scheme, T-levels, which includes working alongside employers for 45 days and provides a direct route into the construction industry.

Among them 18-year-old Ben Hamlin, a top-grade learner in his T-level cohort, completed the new technical qualification in August 2023, following his successful work placement at BES last year. Ben received a distinction in design, surveying and planning for construction, and is now embarking on his building services degree apprenticeship in partnership with/sponsored by BES.

Commenting on his appointment, Ben said: “Having the opportunity to join the BES family while completing my course was brilliant. And then, to be offered the permanent role and embark on my building services apprenticeship and a chance to go to university to obtain a building services degree has been hugely rewarding and motivational; nothing that I would have ever expected from this programme.”

Similarly, learner Matthew Cowen has just successfully completed his 45-day placement and is continuing to attend BES twice a week. He too has been offered full-time employment after he finishes his T-level qualification and to work towards further qualifications.

The third, Umair is currently studying for his construction T-level qualification and joins BES this month at the start of his 45-day work placement.

BES and Hopwood Hall College have been working in partnership since 2021 following the commencement of Ben Hamlin’s work placement, with BES committed to encouraging and providing opportunities to many new trainees in the sector. Zeb Ahmed, BES CEO added: “Credit must go to the young people who make it through the new T-levels, because it is their hard work and commitment that allow doors to open and opportunities to be fulfilled. We enjoy and benefit from fresh young talent joining our business and look forward to what Umair can achieve, following in the steps of Ben and Matt.”

Julia Heap, principal and chief executive at Hopwood Hall College and University Centre commented: “T-levels are galvanising our young people to achieving great things in the borough and they are providing an alternative to A-levels and as we can see from our relationship with BES they are leading to exciting careers for a new workforce.”

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