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Industry employers to highlight career opportunities to students at Sunderland College

Following a successful collaborative event in Hartlepool, which attracted some of the most influential companies in North East construction, Northern Counties Builders Federation (NCBF) has teamed up with the Faculty of Construction at Sunderland College, with the aim of driving forward employment prospects for young trades people.

The event, on May 20, will bring together NCBF members and the wider North East construction community, to meet students learning their trade as electricians, plumbers, carpenters, joiners and bricklayers and are now looking for placement in industry.

It is part of a sustained campaign in which the NCBF works closely with colleges throughout the North East. 

Northern Counties Builders Federation (NCBF) is a long-established trade association bringing together construction companies and contractors operating in the North East of England. 

As a membership organisation, it is proactive in raising the profile of its regional members, supporting training and apprenticeships and helping to future-proof the North East construction industry.

Tony Kay, president, NCBF, said: “A key aim of the NCBF is to continue to promote the opportunities available to young people within the construction sector. Following a successful first event at Hartlepool College which attracted a range of organisations such as Kier Group, Hodgson Sayers, Applebridge Family, Geoffrey Robinson, Classic Masonry, Persimmon Homes and many more, we were very impressed by the commitment of employers, who came with the clear desire to place students into the workforce.

“As we look to replicate this event, we want to continue to create a clear path of communication between young people looking to enter the trade and potential employers.

“By working with and highlighting the great work of colleges and educational providers within our region, it is our aim to help bridge the worrying skills gap. A concern not just within construction but many other sectors.

“We will continue to beat the drum to parents, caregivers, schools and students that a career in construction has massive strengths, such as the ability to make a positive impact, including its contribution to Net Zero. It also offers variation, the opportunity to specialise and continual career progression.

“It is well known that the foundations of the built environment are forged on collaboration and education providers, such as Sunderland College, are a recruitment source waiting to be tapped in to by both their extensive employer network and companies that are linking up through projects such as this one.

“We are looking forward, to what we know will be another valuable event, one in which we can highlight to employers that there is a talent pool ready and eager to step into the workplace.

“We also want to hear the thoughts of construction companies as to the challenges and opportunities that they may be facing so that we can help add value.”

John Sayers, managing director, Hodgson Sayers, said: “Our business has a very proud record of providing apprenticeships for young people in a variety of trades and we fully understand the immense benefits they bring to our business. We attended the launch event in Hartlepool and we were hugely impressed by the calibre and attitude of the young people we met. This initiative by the NCBF is to be applauded and we look forward to supporting it in any way we can.”

Simon Muschamp, faculty director for Construction at Sunderland College, said: “We are really excited about hosting this event and having the opportunity to link our fantastic students with local and national employers. They will be able to interact within our workshop facilities with guidance from their tutors who work tirelessly to prepare them for the next steps towards employment within the sector, whilst showcasing their technical skills and knowledge. The overall aim of this event is to match students with employers for Apprenticeships, Industry Placements and Work Experience.

“This is especially key with our upcoming move into our purpose-built Housing, Innovation, Construction Skills Academy (HICSA) centre which is currently being built on the Sheepfolds site as part of a joint venture with Sunderland Council and the Department for Education. This will provide state-of-the-art facilities for learners from across the region to gain valuable skills in key strategic areas such as modern methods of construction, retrofit and renewable technologies alongside traditional trades. The focus will be on apprenticeships and higher-level technical education to help plug the skills gaps, whilst providing excellent opportunities for the young people of Sunderland and the surrounding areas.”

To book for the event, please contact:


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