Young people in East Hampshire are to be offered skilled jobs on Whitehill & Bordon’s construction projects in a unique deal with developers.
Apprentices will be given the construction skills they need to help build their home town’s ambitious future.
One of the UK’s largest residential developers, Taylor Wimpey, says it will work with the town’s new Future Skills Centre to find apprentices, who will be trained and then potentially given full employment once their three year training programme is completed.
As a first step, Taylor Wimpey has committed to employing 10 bricklaying apprentices to work within the Dukes Quarter section of the redevelopment.
An additional property developer, Zero C, has also committed to taking a number of carpentry apprentices within their housing development.
EHDC councillor Ferris Cowper, portfolio holder for Whitehill & Bordon, said: “The dream of ‘The Town That Builds Itself’, is becoming a reality!
“We are delighted to be able to work with these developers, who have a national reputation in collaboration and with the exceptional Future Skills Centre.
“I’d like to acknowledge the effort put into this by Charles Waggett, a Director of Taylor Wimpey, who adopted my suggestion with enthusiasm and turned it into this very exciting project.
“The regeneration of Whitehill & Bordon is all about hope for the future. Through this project our young people can have new hope of employment and prosperity in this amazing project that is setting national standards across the board.”
Taylor Wimpey and Dorchester Regeneration, which operate locally as part of The Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company, are ready to recruit and deliver excellent training to students at the Future Skills Centre from September 2018.
Charles Waggett, Director, Major Developments for Taylor Wimpey, said: “These are exciting apprenticeship opportunities in a state-of-the-art training facility at the Future Skills Centre, with inspirational leadership and mentorship delivered by its manager, Steve Gilder.
“We look forward to supporting Steve and helping to develop this valuable apprenticeship training.”
The manager of the Future Skills Centre, Steve Gilder, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for the FSC to be working with such prominent employers, it can only benefit the young people of Whitehill & Bordon.”
The model, thought to be unique across the country, has apprentices working in sectioned off areas of the development, under the watchful eye of a Master Tradesperson, who offers specific guidance and ‘on the job’ training.
By improving the skills base in the Whitehill & Bordon area, EHDC hopes to attract businesses and create new employment opportunities as will as mitigating the rising skills shortage in the construction industry.
The Future Skills Centre was built by Hampshire County Council, which secured an award of £3.8 million to fund the project.
Opened in September 2017, it is a state-of-the-art training facility offering young people and adults in the local community the skills necessary for the jobs created by the town’s regeneration.
The centre is run by Basingstoke College of Technology (BCOT) as the operating partner, focussing on training for the construction sector and as a new local hub hosting a broad adult and community learning programme for the wider community.
Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Keith Mans, said: “This new centre will be integral to the regeneration of Whitehill and Bordon, which we are proud to be supporting, along with our partners the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and East Hampshire District Council.
“This flagship facility will offer young people in the local community the skills necessary for the jobs that will be created by the regeneration, and improve the area’s economic prosperity. We’re proud to have the scale, capacity, experience and expertise to deliver key infrastructure projects like these, and ultimately to bring new opportunities to the community here.”