Leeds set to build on apprenticeship success

With over 80 apprentices employed on work procured through Housing Leeds and with another 10 in the pipeline, Leeds City Council and partners working in construction throughout the city are keen to build on successful apprenticeship schemes so far.

Housing Leeds provide construction apprenticeships through their Construction Services team and apprenticeships are also delivered through contractors working for Housing Leeds and delivering other major infrastructure improvements within the city.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

“We know Leeds has similar youth unemployment challenges to many other areas, and we want to make sure building a better city involves improving opportunities for people as well as improving bricks and mortar.

“I’ve been delighted that so many of the organisations we work with share my passion for improving the life chances of people, and are helping offer the training, skills and opportunities presented by these apprenticeships.

“We know it isn’t only young people who can benefit, so I encourage anyone who thinks they might be interested to find out more about the possibility of an apprenticeship to find out more on our website.”

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills, said:

“As well as the improvements to the city’s infrastructure this investment will deliver, there is a massive opportunity to provide construction employment and training for Leeds citizens.

“It is generally accepted that £1m of construction investment should deliver at least one apprentice year of training and so there is a massive opportunity with the current investment programme in Leeds.”

Jon Hinchliff, sc4L General Manager, said:

“We’ve already had a great experience working with the council and delivering quality training and employment prospects for apprentices in the city. There’s a wide range of roles on offer - not just the more obvious construction jobs - but we’ve had apprentices in administration, customer services and communications too.

“We’re aiming for a further 23 apprenticeships in 10 trade areas to be recruited to start between September and December 2014, which is why I really welcome the announcement that this collaboration is to continue.”

Notes for editors:

Housing Leeds deliver around £100m of construction work (repair, adaptation and improvement work) to the Council owned housing stock across the city annually.

Most work is delivered through external Contractors (primarily Mears following their takeover of the six Morrison Facilities Services (MFS) contracts) but a substantial part is undertaken by Council directly employed workforce. The Council also has a housing new build programme for 2014/15 worth £40m as well as the Beeston Hill/Holbeck and Little London PFI schemes that have a total value of £120m.

Construction & Housing Yorkshire, in partnership with the Council’s Employment Leeds service, is currently managing the employment and skills obligations, including apprenticeship obligations, for 19 sites across the city. There are currently 14 live projects, including 4 housing projects, being monitored and assisted to deliver apprenticeships to Leeds residents. Social Impact Plans outlining Key Performance Indicators such as jobs, apprenticeships and work experience weeks have been agreed for all sites.

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Phil Morcom

Communications and Marketing team

Leeds City Council

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Tel: 0113 224 3602

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