£400,000 award will help build 9,000 new homes

Words and photo by Dave Barry 

A training centre for bricklayers, joiners and other trades has won a £400,000 award.

The Construction Skills Village at Eastfield has been given £240,000 by the Community Led Local Development Fund and £160,000 by the York, North Yorkshire & East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership.

It will be spent over the next year on extending the training centre and creating a construction business centre on the site of the former High Eastfield Farm.

The money is the result of a joint bid by Northern Regeneration and Scarborough Council. 

It is coming from the £29m construction skills fund recently announced by the Department of Education to assist in easing the industry’s skills shortage.

The training centre was established in August 2015 to address the shortage locally.

The partners want to ensure that a skilled local workforce is available to build the anticipated 9,000 new homes which the council estimates will be required in the borough of Scarborough by 2032.

The training centre gives people an opportunity to learn and develop the specific skills required for the construction and housing industries by working on a construction site under the guidance of expert mentors.

The site provides a one-stop shop for construction and housing employers, learners, parents, adults and referral agents wishing to understand how to access the industry and recruit locally.

Northern Regeneration managing director Graham Ratcliffe said: “Our aim is to turn opportunity into reality for individuals wanting a career in construction and encourage the Department for Education to continue supporting our programmes”.

Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, said: “This is just the kind of initiative we need to ensure that local people have the skills needed to take advantage of the jobs, particularly in construction and building, that are being created in our area. The country is crying out for skilled people and they should be home grown rather than relying on European Union workers coming here”.

Ruth Smith of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said: “Housing growth is a key priority for our LEP area because the lack of affordable housing constrains our economic growth”.

Trainers and assessors John Revill and Klaire Holliday are pictured with a group of level 1 and 2 apprentices, helping to get them site-ready.

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