Skills centre provides working opportunities for Brighton locals
Southern Housing Group and construction partners Denne have launched a skills centre, a skills and training facility, at their £12 million Pankhurst Avenue development in Brighton.
The launch event was attended by, among others, the Group’s Regional Development Manager, Jeremy Barkway and Brighton and Hove Council’s Chair of the Economic Development, and Culture Committee, Councillor Geoffrey Bowden.
The skills centre, a mobile training facility, provides a range of on-site education opportunities for members of the local community, from apprentices to school groups, to provide experience and qualifications in construction and development.
It is all part of the Group’s commitment to helping people get the necessary skills they need to progress into work, which includes the in-house Southern Works programme, giving residents job seeking and interview advice and CV writing skills.
Group Regional Development Manager Jeremy Barkway said our investment goes beyond just building homes, equally important is providing employment opportunities for local people.
“As part of our commitment to building communities, we ensure we work with our partners to provide skills training to help local residents get closer to work,” he said.
“The skills centre programme, accredited by the Skills Academy for Construction, provides work experience placements, health and safety tests, identifies employment opportunities and runs workshops.
“Southern Housing Group maintains a commitment to providing skills training at its developments by making provisions in our contracts, which facilitate opportunities for local people to learn about and gain experience in construction. We have also adopted the same approach with Denne on our Kingsway project in Hove.”
Carpentry apprentice Ryan Perrin said the experience he gained on site and through the skills centre was integral to finding a job.
“I was fortunate enough to be given work experience on-site for three months and then, via the skills centre, I was given an apprenticeship with the carpentry contractor. I had struggled to find work in the industry and now I am set to move on to an advanced apprenticeship,” he said.
When completed in September 2013, the former nurses’ accommodation at Pankhurst Avenue will comprise 95 affordable new homes, 73 parking spaces, a new community centre, a children’s play area and a new landscaped square. The development will also meet the Code for Sustainable Homes level 4 accreditation.
The Pankhurst Avenue scheme will be open to the public from 9.00am-1.00pm on Saturday 10 November as part of the nation-wide Open Doors weekend, organised by members of the construction industry.