Young people from Blackpool are being given the chance to build a career in construction thanks to an apprenticeship scheme at Queens Park.
A group of 13 youngsters have been taken on by affordable housing developer Lovell and its subcontractors at the £22m regeneration housing programme.
Today they were teaming up in Blackpool ahead of National Apprenticeship Week, which starts on Monday, to promote construction careers.
Lovell’s redevelopment of the Queens Park estate for Blackpool Council has so far created 10 apprenticeships with the group, enabling Blackpool residents to learn construction working on the scheme to build nearly 200 homes.
Lovell regional director Nigel Yates said: “At a time when the industry is facing one of its most serious skills shortages, investing in local trade apprenticeships has never been more important. Bringing new people into the industry and equipping them with the skills to build careers is essential not just for our own business but for the industry as a whole, which is why we’ve continued to train apprentices and create training opportunities in communities, even during the recession.”
As the construction sector continues to recover, industry training body CITB expects an extra 200,000 construction jobs to be created over the next five years making it crucial that the industry continues to attract skilled workers.
Nigel Yates added: “For us, providing apprentice and training opportunities is also an important way of making sure that the benefits of housing developments and regeneration programmes we deliver extend to the wider community and have a lasting, positive impact for local people, as we’re seeing in Blackpool.”
Coun Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “We’re delighted that Lovell is supporting National Apprenticeship Week.
“In fact, creating apprenticeships is a key part of our agreement and one that has helped to give opportunities to young local people.
“As a Council we have created around 120 apprenticeships in the last four years and supported the creation of more than 1,000 across the town over the same period. That’s a record we’re very proud of.”