PlanBEE Success Stories

We are dedicated to celebrating the achievements of PlanBEE apprentices and alumni and encouraging people and businesses to explore the value of alternative routes into careers in the built environment.

PlanBEE currently offers apprenticeships with over sixty sponsor companies in the north east of England, Manchester, London, and Vancouver.  

Launched in 2016 by Ryder and Gateshead College, PlanBEE is an innovative, intensive two year rotational apprenticeship designed to provide comprehensive learning in design, construction, and management.

With a 98% success rate in apprentices securing permanent employment in the built environment, PlanBEE has shaped the careers of over 100 apprentices to date.  Apprentices, alumni and sponsor employers share their success stories with PlanBEE.  

Eliza Taylor, Apprentice


What made PlanBEE stand out for you? 
The chance to rotate around different companies and experience different professions. As far as I know, there is no other apprenticeship route that allows you to be placed with different companies to learn different skills in such a short period of time. To be able to say after two years that I have worked and learned in six different professions with six different companies on a multitude of different types of projects is invaluable experience.

Can you share your placements so far, where have you worked, and what were your roles?
So far, I have worked with Fletcher Priest Architects carrying out site research, creating illustrative plans and elevations, and assisting with reports and planning applications. I then moved to Bowmer+Kirkland as a site manager, conducting site inspections, checking health and safety documents, and coordinating workers on site – a stark contrast to the design work at Fletcher Priest. Currently, I am with Desco (MEP) carrying out electrical and mechanical design work for various projects in the UK. 

What have you enjoyed the most so far? 
I have really enjoyed meeting so many new people in each of my placements. Not only can I learn so much from them professionally, but I am also gaining skills in adapting to different working environments and professional relationships at a fast rate. Every mentor and colleague I have worked with has been so supportive in helping me with tasks, and I have always felt more than welcome in each team. 

How do you see your career progressing after the PlanBEE programme ends?
I’m not 100% sure yet! The advantage of this scheme is that we don’t need to know exactly what we will choose at this stage. I am definitely leaning towards a career in design so far, but whether this is architecture or engineering, I’m not sure. Whichever career I do chose, I am looking to complete a higher apprenticeship with one of the companies I have worked for, returning to a team I have experienced working with.  

Joseph Mackenzie, Apprentice


What made PlanBEE stand out for you? 
The main thing that sets the PlanBEE programme apart is the fact that you get the opportunity to experience a range of different fields within construction in a relatively short period. Gaining experience from six different reputable companies is extremely valuable and helps us (PlanBEE apprentices) stand out to employers. 

Can you share your placements so far, where have you worked, and what were your roles?
My first placement was at a construction firm, Bowmer+Kirkland (B+K). I worked on a new build primary school project in the quantity surveying department. My work included take off measurements for materials, cost comparisons, and supporting the quantity surveying team and project manager.

My second placement was at Fletcher Priest Architects as a supporting architect. I mainly worked on 55 Old Broad Street, an office redevelopment near Liverpool Street, where I was involved in the facade design and making a 3D physical model to highlight the reception area.  

I’m currently with Mesh, a cost consultant company in London. My role is similar role to at B+K, except I’m not on site this time. I work across projects and tasks such as take off measurements for materials and helping to put contracts together. 

What have you enjoyed the most so far? 
It’s hard to narrow it down to one thing, as I have enjoyed many things about the programme, however, I would say I have enjoyed meeting and making connections with so many different people – whether that’s my fellow apprentices or colleagues at the companies, the programme has been incredible for networking. 

How do you see your career progressing after the PlanBEE programme ends?
I am not certain at this moment in time. When applying to the programme I was initially mainly set on getting into project management, however, having been exposed to different fields within the industry, I have realised I am learning about myself in terms of what I’m good at and what I enjoy. I think it is important for me to keep an open mind and assess this towards the end of the programme once I’ve completed all of my placements.  




91% of employers say apprentices have made a valuable contribution to the business. To find out more about the value apprenticeships can bring to your business, contact Peter Barker and Izzy Williams.


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