Leeds ,

Inaugural ‘Re-Making Leeds’ trainees graduate in special event at Kirkgate Market

The first graduates from an innovative Leeds City Council heritage and construction skills trainee programme, funded by £810,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, have been recognised as part of a special celebration event this month.

Held at the city’s Kirkgate Market, six successful trainees from the Re-Making Leeds scheme were on hand to receive a certificate having completed a 12-month course in work-based training featuring; brick work, carpentry and joinery, stonemasonry, painting and decorating, lime mortar plastering and rendering, wall and floor tiling and specialist lead work.

During this time, the trainees have also built up a portfolio which contains all of the experience and knowledge they have acquired on the course which can now be used to showcase the skills they have acquired to potential employers. A number of the graduates have already secured full-time employment. These include positions with Stoodley Pike bespoke timber products and specialist conservation company Aura Conservation Ltd.

Also earning the accolade of Trainee of the Year was Chris Bell, who was presented with an engraved plaque and a £100 cheque. Chris has secured a Master Craftsman Apprenticeship with Canal & River Trust, a five year programme that equips its apprentices with the vital skills needed to work on the canal network such as construction technology and materials science.

Re-Making Leeds which is delivered by the council with partners the Leeds College of Building and York College, provided trainees during their time on the programme with a range of hands-on and high class training by employers as they maintained, repaired and refurbished a range of pre-1919 residential, commercial and institutional properties.

Designed to ensure that there will be a new generation of experts available to work in this specialist field in the future, Re-Making Leeds which has recently its second year intake of trainees, also offers trained professionals the chance to reskill in heritage construction and short training courses to up-skill employees in small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

To find out more about how to apply for a place on Re-Making Leeds, or how to take on a trainee through the scheme, please see: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/Re-Making-Leeds.aspx

Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for employment, enterprise and opportunity said:

“An amazing amount of time and effort has been invested by the council, our partners and many employers into Re-Making Leeds, and it was fantastic to see the first graduates from the programme in attendance at a special celebration event at Kirkgate Market.

“Throughout their heritage construction training, our trainees have had access to an amazing amount of experience, knowledge and high-class tutoring from a range of employers and partners, and we would like to offer a big thank you to everyone for all of their hard work and for investing so much in our trainees. I would of course also like to offer my own congratulations to all of the trainees who graduated and to Chris Bell, who fully deserved his Trainee of the Year award.

“Programmes such as Re-Making Leeds are absolutely pivotal in creating opportunities for young people to learn new skills and find their way into employment. We will continue to investigate how our work can be expanded further, as part of the council’s commitment to be a compassionate city.”

Notes to editors:

Employers featuring in this year’s programme include: Leeds City Council’s parks and countryside team, AB Heritage Roofing, Aura Conservation Ltd, Hesp Jones & Co, LCC Restorations Ltd, Ornate Interiors, Ratcliffe Building & Maintenance and Ventrolla.

Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery @HLFYandH

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk