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Search begins for apprentices to help restore and renew Palace of Westminster

2nd July 2021

The search has begun for apprentices to work on the essential restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster. 

  • Parliament Restoration and Renewal Programme will employ hundreds of apprentices UK-wide. 

  • Initial recruitment launches today for first apprenticeships in digital engineering, finance, assurance, project management and specialist heritage professions. 

  • Several hundred apprentices will be recruited as restoration programme progresses, with 160 loaned out to businesses across the UK in a unique new approach. 

  • Apprentices to be paid at least the London Living Wage and will be assigned expert mentors to help them progress to full-time employment on completion. 

An initial six new recruits will be offered the chance to work on the career-defining project, helping to develop the detailed plan to restore and renew the Victorian Palace. 

Initial recruitment will see four apprentices brought into the teams overseeing and delivering the programme in digital engineering, finance, project assurance and project management roles. A further two apprentices will be seconded to the programme from heritage organisations. 

As the Restoration and Renewal programme moves forward, at least several hundred apprentices will be employed across the UK. A unique shared apprenticeship scheme will see up to 160 apprentices “loaned out” on rotating placements to more than 300 small and medium-sized British companies expected to be part of the project’s supply chain. 

The apprenticeship opportunities announced today are the first of hundreds to become available throughout the lifetime of the restoration project in a supply chain spanning the UK.  

Apprenticeships will be offered in a wide range of professions, from digital design to high-tech engineering, and in more traditional crafts such as stonemasonry and carpentry. 

Mike Brown, Chair of the Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal Delivery Authority, said: “As we restore and renew the Palace of Westminster, we will be hiring many hundreds of apprentices and I am delighted to kick off recruitment of the first opportunities in specialist roles in digital engineering, heritage, finance and assurance”. 

David Goldstone, Chief Executive of the Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal Delivery Authority, said: “Our apprenticeships are among the most exciting in the country, with the unique opportunity to work on the once-in-a-generation restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster”.  

All apprentices will be paid at least the London Living Wage of £10.85 per hour1, compared to the national minimum wage for an apprentice aged 16 to 18 (or any apprentice in the first year of their apprenticeship) of £4.30 per hour2.  

The announcement comes after the restoration programme began work this year on a unique shared apprenticeship scheme, where up to 160 apprentices will be “loaned out” on rotating placements to the 300+ small and medium-sized British companies that are expected to be part of the supply chain throughout the lifetime of the project. Apprentices who are employed directly by the Delivery Authority or through the shared apprenticeship scheme will have the opportunity to learn while they earn and contribute to the biggest and most complex restoration of a heritage building ever undertaken in the UK. 

The restoration project is placing particular emphasis on retaining apprentices by creating high-quality opportunities. More than 30% of people who start apprenticeships in Britain do not complete them3, according to The Skills Commission, an independent body of leading figures from across the education sector.  

Apprentices will be assigned a mentor to guide and inspire them throughout their time on the project and to provide wellbeing support. There will be an internal apprenticeship network to allow apprentices working on the project to connect, share experiences and assist one another throughout their training. The restoration project has dedicated office space in Westminster, near Parliament, and while these initial training opportunities will be open to flexible working, travel will be required to training providers and Westminster. The four opportunities are funded through the Apprenticeship Levy and therefore available to candidates from all areas of England. Hundreds of apprenticeships will be available across the UK throughout the restoration programme’s supply chain in the coming years. 

The project has also established its own continuous learning platform which will allow apprentices to connect with professionals from across the project and learn lessons from other major projects across the UK and beyond. This is an opportunity for apprentices to kick-start their career or develop new skills while being a part of the nationwide effort to restore and renew one of the world’s most iconic buildings and the home of UK democracy. 

The apprenticeship opportunities are being advertised as of today, Friday 2 July, and are due to begin at the start of the next academic year in September. Visit @Parliament_RR on twitter or search ‘Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal’ on LinkedIn to find out more about the opportunities on offer. 

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