BGES Group welcomes first cohort of BEMS apprentices to tackle the industry skills gap

Clockwise left to right: Taylor Dunk, Marshall Skeldon and Josh Woodhead

BGES Group welcomes first cohort of BEMS apprentices to tackle the industry skills gap

BGES Group has enrolled three school leavers onto a pioneering apprenticeship aimed at delivering smart, low carbon buildings.

The BEMS Controls Engineer Apprenticeship Standard was launched in 2021 by the Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA) and training provider Group Horizon to upskill young people in this niche but growing market. BEMS (Building energy management systems) efficiently control the lighting, heating, cooling, and ventilation in a building, and are seen as a crucial tool for tackling energy waste and achieving net zero.

BGES Group is offering this specialist apprenticeship for the first time to three school leavers, two of which come from Dinnington High School, local to BGES Group’s headquarters. Taylor Dunk, Marshall Skeldon and Josh Woodhead will be gaining on-the-job experience, as well as technical training which covers all aspects of the industry, including controls hardware and logic; field devices; networking; communication protocols and supervisor software.

The apprenticeship was borne out of a need to address the industry-wide shortage of BEMS Controls Engineers. Buildings account for 23% of the UK’s carbon emissions, and there is huge, untapped potential to drive this number down through efficient control of buildings’ plant and equipment.

Long-term support

All of BGES Group’s apprentices are assigned to a personal ‘champion’ from the company’s team of highly experienced engineers. Here, they will receive coaching, mentoring and practical on the job training.

Post-apprenticeship, there is a clear route to progression at BGES Group. The company is committed to nurturing our staff at every stage of their career, and prides itself on an open culture here where potential is recognised, voices are heard, and people are given opportunities to thrive.

BGES Group has long been a supporter of the apprenticeship route. It is widely considered one of the best workplaces in the sector to train with, and recent BGES graduate Alex Lacey won an industry award for Young Engineer of the Year.

Gareth Barber, Managing Director at BGES Group, said:

“We’re always looking for ways to deliver a positive impact on our local community, and our relationship with Dinnington High School is the product of that desire. We’re really excited to welcome Taylor, Marshall and Josh to the team, and look forward to supporting them on their new career path. We’ve trained many young people via the apprenticeship route, but it’s the first time that we are offering the BCIA’s new BEMS apprenticeship. This is a key area for us as more companies realise the importance of efficiently run, healthy buildings.”

Jo Jones, Careers and Aspirations Lead at Dinnington High School said:

“This year we have made a lovely positive connection with BGES Group. They wanted to hire students from the local community and build a relationship with us. The company were welcoming, and we identified a number of students who would be interested in securing work-based learning/training.

“Our tour of BGES’ facilities showed us the vast opportunities on offer and the scope for them to train in these various areas. The company is developing and expanding their business and wanted their impact to benefit the local people too. On visiting, we were pleased to hear they had employed previous students, who only had positive feedback to offer about their journey. Our students had the opportunity to see if the company was the right fit for them and vice versa, and we were pleased to see that our students gained apprenticeship places with them. We hope that we can continue this positive relationship and I am excited to see our ex-students flourish with them.”

Peter Behan, Director of Group Horizon, said:

“We’re delighted that BGES Group has introduced the BEMS Controls Engineer Apprenticeship; a flagship scheme which will help meet demand for skilled engineers.

Maintaining a tight grasp on energy efficiency is crucial for organisations in both the short-term and long-term. There is the significant challenge of the UK’s net-zero carbon by 2050 target looming on the horizon, and if we are to achieve this then we must continue to address the well-documented statistic that buildings account for over 40 per cent of the global energy consumption with commercial premises accounting for more than half of that figure.”