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Building the foundations

We're working with one of the UK's biggest housebuilders to create a tailor-made degree programme for their staff.

What we did

Barratt Developments are one of the country's largest housebuilders. They've been building homes for over 50 years, and now directly employ more than 4,000 people in 26 divisions across the UK. And with such a big workforce operating in a wide range of areas, it's a real challenge to provide training and development that develops the skills and expertise of staff in a way that supports the continued development of the company in the future.

What Barratt really wanted was to offer its employees the chance to study for a degree – but one which was tailor-made to meet the specific demands of the industry. At Sheffield Hallam University we have already developed a successful bespoke programme for construction company Kier, so we were the ideal partner to help Barratt in their quest.

The result

Working in partnership with Barratt, lecturers in our Department of Natural and Built Environment have put together a tailor-made programme. The Foundation Degree in Residential Development and Construction combines learning in the classroom with putting knowledge into practice in the working environment. 50 of the company's employees will start their degrees in January 2014, each one supported by a personal mentor. A second group of students will start the following January.

They say

Rob Tansey, group HR director at Barratt Developments said

We have seen a significant increase in the pace of demand in the property market and it’s vital that we maintain our highly skilled workforce. We are extremely impressed with the work Sheffield Hallam does with local businesses and we are delighted to be working in partnership with them to provide this fantastic opportunity for those keen to make their mark in the property market. Suzie Flynn, graduate and future talent manager at Barratt Developments added, 'The University staff have worked collaboratively with us from the outset, ensuring the programme meets our business requirements, and the needs of the industry as a whole. What seemed like a challenging project at the start has been in reality a straightforward and seamless journey due to the professionalism and expertise of the University staff.

Here at Sheffield Hallam, we are committed to working closely with businesses to produce skilled professionals who can help their organisations to strengthen and grow. Our new partnership with Barratt has come on the back of our successful work with Kier, who gained real benefits from the combination of work experience and academic study. This new course will give Barratt students the chance to have an input into the success of the business.

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