Home North West GMI Construction Group joins Northern Coalition on Skills

GMI Construction Group joins Northern Coalition on Skills

Claire Preston of GMI Construction Group pictured recently signing up to the Care Leaver Covenant with Mark Rogers from the national inclusion programme

GMI Construction Group has joined the Northern Coalition on Skills as part of its commitment to support the levelling up agenda.

Claire Preston, the company’s Head of Responsible Business, was invited to join the Coalition, formed by the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, with the aim of transforming the skills system.

The Coalition brings together representatives from across the Northern business community to act as a catalyst for much-needed reform.

Its first ambition is to restore, and then exceed the number of apprenticeships available in the North to pre-pandemic levels by introducing greater flexibility within the apprenticeship levy.

Across the Northern Powerhouse area, the number of those starting an apprenticeship in 2019/20 fell by 5,400 (8%) to 63,900 and in 2020/21 that fell a further 13,600 (21%) to 50,300.

One of the largest independent construction companies across the North and the Midlands, GMI Construction has long championed apprenticeships and undergraduate work placements.

Its dedication to developing modern construction skills through earn and learn opportunities recently gained it membership of the prestigious 5% Club.

GMI Construction Group, with offices in Leeds, Manchester, Teesside, and Birmingham, employs 213 people and recently recruited three apprentices to bring its cohort to 13.

As part of its commitment to levelling up, it has also signed up to both the Care Leaver Covenant and the Armed Forces Covenant, pledging to support young people as they move from local authority care to living independently, together with armed forces veterans and reservists

It is responsible for major infrastructure projects that are helping to transform the North by creating prosperity and jobs. These include the construction of the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Advanced Engineering (CESAM) in Sunderland, the development of the multi-award winning Thorpe Park, Leeds, together with the delivery of a 102,171 sq. ft industrial unit at Liberty Park Widnes, and a 92,000 sq. ft distribution unit for Fagan & Whalley at Burnley Bridge Business Park.

Claire Preston said: “We value construction apprenticeships, trainees, and graduates extremely highly as a way of developing new employees with the hands-on skills, experience, and education that are required within the sector.

“I’m proud to be joining the Northern Coalition on Skills and hope, along with other businesses across the North, we can make inspiring and practical changes to the skills system to create more and values apprenticeship opportunities which will deliver the North a skilled and adaptable workforce.”

Lee Powell, Chief Executive Officer of GMI Construction Group, said: “Construction as an industry is creating the Northern Powerhouse and making levelling up a reality through the provision of factories, logistics centres, and offices – modern infrastructure that will generate the long-term economic prosperity the North requires.

“I’m pleased that GMI can contribute its expertise and knowledge to the Coalition, with an opportunity to bring about even greater change.”