Renaker is a leading, dynamic and forward thinking real estate company based in Manchester City Centre.

They were looking to feed their talent pipeline and recruit young people into their apprenticeship programmes in Engineering, Site Supervision and Quantity Surveying.

They wanted to recruit locally to support the community they operated in but also wanted students who knew something about construction.

Former Design Engineer Construct!® (DEC) students Harry and Paige (ex St Ambrose Barlow RC High School, Swinton) and Nathan (ex Cronton Sixth Form College) are now trainee Construction Managers with Renaker Build, Manchester.

Listen to their stories…

Work-ready, straight from school

A flagship Design Engineer Construct!® (DEC) school, St Ambrose Barlow RC High School in Salford was adopted by Laing O’Rourke in 2014. Students soon got used to a myriad of Construction professionals dropping by to support their learning.

The DEC Learning Programme enables teachers to create an active learning environment – young people can unlock a creative, problem-solving mindset that delivers work-ready knowledge and skills, AND a real and tangible appetite to progress their learning.

Students at Salford’s St Ambrose Barlow RC High School say:

“The DEC classroom feels different; it’s more like an office.”

Visit anytime and students would be huddled around desks discussing the merit of one renewable energy source over another with Building Services Engineers; the buildability of their designs with Construction Managers; and how inclusive were their buildings with Architects.

As a direct result of sustained early engagement with industry, students have confidence beyond their years.

This was one of the stand-out qualities that Helena Kirkpatrick, Renaker’s Learning and Development Manager discovered when she accepted an invitation to a Careers Day at the school.

“We made contact with St Ambrose because they were a local school running DEC.

When we met some of the students, we were impressed by their maturity and knowledge. Studying DEC had exposed them to the real world of construction and some of it’s professionals, giving them an extra edge.

The projects they produced as part of DEC gave them additional confidence during the interview process and had piqued their passion for construction; they were the kind of students we wanted to work for us.”

Construction professionals in the classroom

This meeting prompted Helena to return to the school with a range of job descriptions. Sally Cheshire, Head of Careers and Daniel McDonagh, Lead DEC Teacher were able to identify potential students and put them forward for interview. Sally commented:

“Working with Renaker’s professionals in school motivated and inspired our pupils to want to achieve and gain employment on their own merit.

The presence of businesses within our school community is one that is vital to the progression routes of our pupils and I am proud of the relationship we have built with Renaker.

I am immensely proud of our pupils who are fulfilling their career ambitions within a fantastic and growing company and I can’t wait to watch their stories develop further.”

AEC Social Value results

The story is one of huge success. Renaker has since employed seven DEC students, following Level 4 and 6 apprenticeship pathways into Construction Management, Civil Engineering and Quantity Surveying.

Renaker’s Managing Director, Daren Whitaker sums up ‘the DEC effect’ perfectly:

“Here at Renaker, we’re all about identifying young people with the right character and the appropriate experience and knowledge.

We’ve certainly found this in DEC students from St Ambrose and will continue to progress their personal and professional development within our organisation, to the mutual benefit of the business and the individual.

We are committed to the training and development of these young people and take great pride in seeing their achievements.”

About Renaker

Established in 2006, property developer Renaker Build is now firmly established as a North-West leader and its buildings are transforming Manchester. Four new skyscrapers dominate the cityscape, with the tallest topping out at 200m.

Renaker’s mantra, “changing skylines, unlocking potential, delivering results” is synonymous with Class Of Your Own’s desire to set a new perspective for education.

The best in education and construction are realising potential and delivering genuine social, economic and environmental impact with us – FIND OUT MORE

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