Barnet Council is joining apprentices and businesses across the borough by celebrating National Apprenticeship Week (NAW), from 14 to 18 March 2016.
To mark the week, the council is pledging to make 15 apprenticeship opportunities available to local residents in the next year and is asking partners and local businesses to do the same.
For the last two and half years, Re, the joint venture between Barnet Council and Capita, has been working with local developers to encourage the use of apprenticeships.
These placements are directly funded through the Section 106 agreements that developers agree with the council as part of the planning process. Overall, more than 300 future apprenticeship placements have been agreed with developers across the borough.
Isaac Din, found a training placement with Countryside Properties’ partner JBT, on a site in Enfield before moving to the Grahame Park site in Colindale and finally on to the Dollis Valley housing estate regeneration scheme in Chipping Barnet.
Isaac said: “I always wanted to do bricklaying so I enrolled on a course at Barnet College and although I was enjoying my time at college I found it really difficult to get any on site experience. My tutor referred me to a local Construction Training Programme and they took me on and got me a job on a Barnet construction site. This was a fantastic experience as I was working alongside experienced tradespeople and was earning a decent wage at the same time. I completed my apprenticeship on the Dollis Valley estate in Barnet and I am now working as a self-employed bricklayer. I am really grateful for the opportunity as I would have really struggled otherwise.”
Dollis Valley is a development project that will see the construction of 631 new affordable, private and rented homes. The scheme is being developed by Countryside Properties in consortium with London & Quadrant.
Deputy Leader of Barnet Council, Councillor Dan Thomas, said: “Dozens of residents have been helped into work in the construction industry since the launch of our apprenticeship scheme.
“Over the next decade our regeneration schemes will be creating thousands of new jobs and it’s only right that our residents share in these opportunities. I am pleased that so many of our development partners are taking on apprentices who will hopefully become the next generation of skilled workers.”
Mark Dally, partnership director for Re, said: “Training local young people is crucial to ensure that the construction industry can continue to grow – and so it’s fantastic to see the success of this scheme over the last two and a half years. Working closely with the Council we will continue to encourage employers across the borough to invest in Barnet’s young people.”