CEG has announced a pioneering new programme to provide vocational training and apprenticeship opportunities for local people in Leeds as part of its prestigious Kirkstall Forge development.
Working closely with Leeds City Council the scheme could provide hundreds of training and job opportunities as 1,050 new homes and 400,000 sq ft of office, leisure, retail and community space is delivered on the 23 hectare Forge site.
The initiative will deliver vocational training and personalised work placements for 14 to 16 year olds in the city as well as apprenticeships, pre-employment, training and employment advice for those unable to find work and keen to retrain.
The first phase of the Kirkstall Forge development is the delivery of a 15,534 sq m, seven-storey office building which is set to start on site early in the New Year.
Jon Kenny, director at CEG, said: “We are committed to working with Leeds City Council’s elected members and community committees to ensure that local people, particularly the young, are able to access the new employment and training opportunities on our site. It will ensure that we can raise skill levels and benefit the local labour market.”
Coun Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for employment, enterprise and opportunity, said: “As a council we are committed to ensuring that we work closely with developers and businesses to ensure that there is a clear focus on the provision of local employment opportunities when planning permission for new development is granted.
“It is fantastic that we have begun working closely with CEG to ensure that the jobs created through this major development become available to local people. We are exploring the provision of training and work preparation skills with the developer and contractor so that a programme is tailored to meet the needs of our city’s young people who may not otherwise get a chance.”
Coun Lucinda Yeadon (Labour, Kirkstall) said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for people and in particular, young people, in Kirkstall. I am looking forward to seeing the development progress and the benefits it will bring to the local area.”
The council will promote the scheme by working closely with schools and colleges and ensuring information is available in community hubs and other community organisations. Office space and resources will also be available on the Kirkstall Forge site to assist with job search and employment preparation activity.
This is one of the north of England’s largest regeneration schemes and most ambitious projects. The new railway station will open later this year, providing a direct connection to Leeds City Centre in minutes.
Some £300 million is programmed for investment in the site over the next five years and by 2020 almost 10,000 people will live and work at Kirkstall Forge in a thriving new woodland and waterside community.