More than 30 construction industry bosses met council and college leaders to pledge to team up and create hundreds of apprenticeships from Blackpool’s building boom.
The summit meeting was held to launch the council’s Shared Apprenticeship Scheme which aims to let young people learn skills for their futures from the raft of work coming up in the area.
With schemes such as the Central Business District , the Queens Park and Ribby Road housing, the massive sea wall restoration scheme and plans for a Central Station regeneration, there is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Fylde coast people to learn construction skills that the area so badly lacks.
The scheme, run in conjunction with Constructing the Future Lancashire and the Construction Industry Training Board, aims to solve the problem that many construction jobs are short term an don’t give trainees a chance to finish their apprenticeship.
It will act as a talent pool for companies so apprentices can work on a variety of schemes until qualified, enhancing their experience
Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden outlined the desperate need for jobs within the 16 to 24-year-old age bracket but also for older people keen to start apprenticeships.
He urged construction firms to sign up to the scheme and said: “It is a significant challenge.
“Forty per cent of people out of work are under 25 and the number of young people starting apprenticeships has fallen.”
Neil Jack, Blackpool Council’s chief executive said the scheme was a win-win for construction companies and the local economy.
He said things were looking up for Blackpool with the news of the International Special Attractions £4m investment in the new indoor illuminations at the Winter Gardens and all the building work in the area.
He said: “This is an opportunity to give our young people and others the skills they need to be employable and for construction to get the skill-base it will need for the future in this area. The pledge shows that companies are willing to engage with us and I know local firms take their responsibilities seriously when it comes to training.”