The only construction training scheme of its kind has secured its first ever long-term apprentices.
Construction Futures is a ground breaking scheme that directly links construction training with the determination of planning applications. Its unique approach, which is attracting interest from across the UK, involves forecasting the training opportunities on a new development and enshrining them in the section 106 agreements tied to planning permissions.
Lagan Homes is the first developer to start delivering apprenticeships through the system. The first trainees have commenced work with sub-contractors at Lagan Homes’ Pearce Leatherworks development in Northampton.
Matthew O`Connor, aged 17, has started a Painter and Decorators apprenticeship with GNG Biddle. He said: “My granddad was a painter and decorator and I was interested in the trade from an early age. I’m really enjoying myself so far – I actually look forward to getting up in the morning and going to work. Getting practical experience is so important – I’m taking pride in everything I do and feel like I’m learning all the time.”
Steven Edwards, aged 17, is an electrical apprentice with Readflex. He said: “I’ve only been working on site for a little while but I’ve already learned so much from the people around me. Working with my hands has always appealed to me and I feel lucky to get this first step in my career.”
Construction Futures was established by West Northamptonshire Development Corporation and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. It offers both long-term apprenticeships and short-term training placements, alongside an accredited qualification. The scheme has delivered almost 100 short-term training placements so far, but the trainees at Pearce Leatherworks are its first long-term apprentices.
Peter Caffry, Construction Futures Manager said: “The construction industry has struggled to effectively invest in training young people, and the economic climate has made the situation even more difficult. Construction Futures ensures training opportunities are secured from the word go. Crucially, we work in partnership with local colleges, providing high quality training that matches the needs of the construction industry”
Lagan Homes’ Pearce Leatherworks is a development on the site of the former headquarters of W. Pearce and Co, off Wellingborough Road in Northampton. Part of the former offices will be refurbished and Lagan are building 120 ‘Art Deco’ and ‘Arts and Crafts’ inspired homes on the remainder of the site. Paul Neal, site manager for Lagan Homes, said: “We’re delighted that our scheme has created new employment opportunities for young people locally.”