Ensuring businesses and residents benefit from new housing developments is a key priority for Worcester City Council. The authority is now applying economic benefit conditions to major planning applications - such as job creation and provision of apprenticeship opportunities.
As a result, the City Council has reached a unique agreement with Bloor Homes, one of largest privately owned housebuilders in the UK. The company is currently building 175 new houses at its development, The Grove on Oak View Way in Worcester (WR2 5FF), with more sites set to be built over the next 20 years. A long-term partnership arrangement has been agreed, which will open up employment and sub-contracting opportunities locally.
Bloor Homes attended the Worcestershire Apprenticeship Show 2019 last week at the Warriors Sixways Stadium to promote their apprenticeship and training schemes to school students. With them was Worcester resident Sophie Bradley, who has recently joined the company as a trainee sales advisor.
Cllr Adrian Gregson, the Deputy Leader of the Council and Vice Chair of Worcester City Council's Place and Economic Sub Committee said: "We are pleased to be working with Bloor Homes to address the local construction skills shortage and to deliver real career opportunities for young people in this fast-growing sector."
Nick Rawlings, Regional Planning Director for Bloor Homes Western, added: "We are committed to using our developments to create local opportunities for employment, training and business.
"Bloor Homes launched its apprenticeship scheme in 2014 and today there are some 113 apprentices employed across the company's seven regions, in roles including carpentry and bricklaying. We also have more than 70 trainees across the business in commercial, design, technical and sales and marketing positions.
"With the number of jobs in construction likely to increase, we need to invest in our workforce and attract and retain new talent to the sector. Apprenticeships are a valuable route to develop new talent and build the workforce of the future and we are proud to be providing opportunities for young people in Worcester through our partnership with Worcester City Council.
"Our apprentices split their time between working on the company's developments gaining valuable hands-on experience, with attending their local college.
"Bloor Homes is also a proud supporter of women in construction, with a number of female employees in senior positions across the company, as well as two female bricklaying apprentices at sites in its Southern and Western regions.
"For far too long, housebuilding has been seen as a male-only domain and this has severely restricted the number of women prepared to consider a career in the sector. As a result, a huge amount of potential housebuilding talent is being lost to the industry. We want to raise awareness of the variety of roles available in construction and inspire others to consider the sector as a viable and worthwhile career option."