From school leaver to senior manager – City Building unveils graduate apprenticeship programme

Jason Pearson, senior manager of City Building

SIXTEEN City Building construction workers have enrolled as graduate apprentices as part of plans to secure the Glasgow firm’s next generation of senior management.

The group – 80% of whom started out as trades apprentices – are undertaking a BA (Hons) Business Management at Glasgow Caledonian University as part of a new management development programme introduced by City Building. The programme is designed to meet the requirements of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) for Chartered Managers and will allow City Building to further develop managers and emerging talent.

Graduate apprenticeships were created to help students build the skills and knowledge required by industry. The construction sector is currently facing a growing skills shortage, with Office for National Statistics figures suggesting job vacancies within the industry have reached a 20-year high after 43,000 roles across the UK went unfilled between July and the end of September.

The City Building cohort, who are all currently managers, are employed in a range of divisions across the business, from construction to contracts and electrical. Most started straight from school as trades apprentices, becoming plumbers, painters and decorators, joiners and roofers, before being promoted.

Their BA (Hons) degree course will run for four years. Among the subjects the group will study are personal and professional development, risk management, marketing, economics, law and financial management. They will also complete modules in innovation and creativity, people management and diversity, and strategy, operations and supply chain management.

As part of their qualification, they will additionally undertake a work-based project centred on a live challenge based on City Building’s needs.

Among the 13 men and three women who have matriculated as graduate apprentices is Jason Pearson, 42. A father of five, Jason manages repairs for Glasgow City Council and started out as an apprentice joiner.

He said: “It’s important to have a balance of skills and qualifications, especially when you progress through management levels, and expanding our skill set is definitely something we’re encouraged to do as City Building employees. I’m looking forward to seeing where this next chapter takes me.”

Alan Burns, Executive Director, City Building, said: “I’m very proud of our graduate apprentices, and their dedication to their careers. We are already the biggest employer of trades apprentices in Scotland, but it is recognised that the construction sector has an ageing workforce, so it is vital that we nurture talent across all levels of the business and secure our succession planning.

“I wish each of our 16 men and women well and look forward to them leading City Building in years to come.”

City Building’s graduate apprenticeships are being financed by the Scottish Funding Council, which in May of this year announced £16.2m for work-based apprentice programmes.

For further information about City Building, visit

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