Local people will have the chance to learn valuable construction skills working on a project to develop a well-known derelict site in Birmingham city centre.
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is funding a £100,000 skills hub on the site at Ludgate Hill car park in the Jewellery Quarter to offer local people free construction training.
Led by construction company John Sisk & Son, the 39-storey development by Moda Living will include 722 new apartments, a gym, shops and green spaces on the land, commonly known as the ‘bomb site’, which has lain derelict for more than 70 years.
An artist's impression of the completed development on the site at Ludgate Hill car park
This is the second WMCA-funded training initiative to be set up by Sisk and Moda, following the success of a construction hub at Moda’s Broad Street project to build the city’s largest residential skyscraper, The Mercian.
Over the past two years, this hub created 140 job opportunities for local residents by offering construction training and a guaranteed job interview after completing a 20-day course.
It is expected that the hub at Ludgate Hill will create a similar number of construction jobs for local people, ranging from apprenticeships to graduate roles.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “We know sadly that thousands of people in our region have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic, while many more who are still in work are feeling uncertain about their future.
“We are determined to help those who have fallen out of work by equipping them with the skills needed to gain new jobs in growth sectors, and major construction projects like this one will do exactly that.
“It’s great to see this derelict site in the heart of Birmingham finally being regenerated, and even better that we’re funding training for local people to work on this landmark project and develop valuable skills for the future. I’m pleased that we’re continuing our partnership with Sisk and Moda to build on the success of The Mercian development.”
Cllr Jayne Francis, Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for education, skills and culture, said: “In these difficult times, it’s never been more important that our residents benefit from construction projects in their area. It’s good news that this training hub is helping to give local people new skills for a new career, as well as providing high-quality new housing for the city.”
The new development will consist of blocks ranging in height up to 39 storeys and include 722 new homes alongside a gym, roof terraces, communal lounges and space for retail and hospitality businesses. It is expected to deliver £92 million gross added value to the West Midlands.
The scheme will take the total number of homes being delivered by Sisk for Moda in Birmingham city centre to more than 1,200, accounting for about 20 per cent of the city centre’s five-year housing supply.
Ajaz Shafi, Sisk managing director, UK South, said: “We are very pleased that we are continuing to work with the WMCA to enable local people to gain essential construction skills on this second major project in Birmingham city centre. We look forward to maintaining our dedication to job creation at our training hub, which is of great benefit to the local community.”
Tony Brooks, managing director at Moda Living, added: “We are proud to be helping people get back into quality employment as we deliver many new homes into the city centre. The positive human stories that have come from The Mercian have been incredibly inspiring. I’m looking forward to starting work on our Great Charles Street neighbourhood later this year with the same team that worked on The Mercian, bringing another 722 high-quality homes for rent to Snow Hill and the Jewellery Quarter. We hope to create even more employment opportunities for local people.”
The WMCA will work alongside partners at the Birmingham City Council Employment Access Team, John Sisk & Son, the National Careers Service, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), Jobcentre Plus and the Department of Work and Pensions, to help maximise employment and training opportunities.
To sign up for construction training, contact the National Careers Service West Midlands on 0800 100 900 or visit https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/