Building high aspirations for 14-19 year olds

A new Industrial Centre of Excellence (ICE) has been set up for young people who want to learn skills and develop a career in the building and construction industry. The Centre of Excellence for the Built Environment (CE:BE) brings together local construction companies and education providers.

The CE:BE will help change the way local construction businesses engage with the schools and colleges in Bradford.

ICE work by building strong and lasting partnerships between employers and schools, colleges and universities. They do this so that the skills young people develop match those that employer’s need.

Industrial Centres of Excellence, or ICE, are a unique and innovative way in which the Bradford District is providing education for young people aged 14 – 19. The partnership will enable the Centre of Excellence to develop an innovative curriculum for students that will support them in gaining:

  • Enterprise Skills
  • Industry Led qualifications
  • Personalised Pathways that support them in planning for their future career
  • Practical and experiential learning from work experience
  • Opportunities that can lead to real work


The Centre of Excellence for the Built Environment is one of five ICE's that have been set up by Bradford Council. The other four ICE focus on the following skill sectors:

  • Business and finance
  • Environmental technologies
  • Advanced manufacturing and engineering
  • Retail and distribution


CE: BE is led by business partners and three educational partners, who are:

  • Arnold Laver & Co Ltd
  • Moortown Group
  • Incommunties Group Ltd
  • PEC
  • Rex Proctor & Partners
  • Wates Group Ltd
  • Tong High School
  • Carlton Bolling College
  • Bradford College


Wates Group Ltd are providing the first work placement through CE:BE on the Bradford Forster School site on Fenby Avenue. Naheem Ahmed is a second year student in Bricklaying at Bradford College and is the first student at the Centre of Excellence to be chosen to participate in work experience.

Stephanie Tinsley, Vice Principal: Curriculum and Learning, Bradford College, said: “Work experience is an important stepping stone that enables young people to gain the skills to enter an apprenticeship or take up a job in the construction industry. We are therefore delighted that Wates have extended work experience opportunities to students of the Centre of Excellence for the Built Environment.

“The centre is providing an environment where employers and educational providers work in partnership to exchange knowledge and innovation which will contribute to the economic competitiveness of Bradford district.”

Phil Harrison, Managing Director, Wates Construction North, commented: “As a leading contractor across Yorkshire, Wates takes investment in skills training very seriously and our support of the Centre of Excellence for the Built Environment forms a huge part of our efforts to address the potential skills gap our industry faces.

“Hands on experience, alongside formal training, is an extremely valuable means to building a career in this fantastic sector and it never fails to create a sense of pride when we see young people grow and develop under the watch of our site teams. Naheem’s placement is a prime example of how day-to day practice can develop a deeper understanding and ultimately boost employability."

Coun Ralph Berry, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, said: “The Council has taken a strong leadership role in bringing partners together to develop Industrial Centres of Excellence.

“Students at the Centre of Excellence for the Built Environment will be able to gain valuable work and business experience by following an innovative, contemporary and challenging curriculum that partners have jointly developed.”


Published: 06/11/2014
Audience: Everyone
Contact: Matt Findall

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