Lovell plans...

Lovell plans major skills training boost for South Wales and South West

Cardiff partnership housing developer Lovell aims to create in the region of 40 apprenticeships and 140 work experience placements in South Wales and the South West through a national industry training initiative.

Lovell has been awarded National Skills Academy for Construction (NSAfC) status by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) in recognition of its expertise in delivering construction skills and training in local communities.

The NSAfC aims to create jobs, attract young people into the industry and provide additional training for the construction workforce. Over the next four years Lovell will receive funding for a new project skills co-ordinator who will help manage training at its housing developments across South Wales and the South West.

Four new apprentices have already benefited from the academy status, through a joint Skills Academy and Prince’s Trust Get into Constructionprogramme designed to help local unemployed people find employment. The four trainees have been recruited at The Mill, Canton, a £100 million housing development in West Cardiff. One will train as an apprentice with Lovell while three will undertake apprenticeships with the company’s subcontractor partners. Each apprentice has also been given £150 for tools by local charity Action in Caerau and Ely (ACE).

Kate Rees, Lovell regional managing director for South Wales and the South West, comments: “Securing National Skills Academy for Construction status is testimony to Lovell’s strong record of providing jobs and skills training in the communities where we work and our ongoing activities encouraging young people to consider construction careers.

“Lovell believes in community investment in the broadest possible sense, helping create benefits not just through our new-build and regeneration projects but also by enabling people living in those areas to access valuable job and training opportunities. I’m thrilled that we have been awarded this funding which will enable Lovell to continue to deliver potentially life-changing opportunities for local people in South Wales and the South West as well as help develop the skilled workforce that our industry requires.”

Welcoming the announcement, Skills and Science Minister Julie James, who is responsible for employability across the Welsh Government, says: “By 2020 Wales will need 17,000 construction and building roles so attracting, nurturing and retaining skills talent to this important sector is vital for Wales’ economic growth and prosperity.

“Wales has developed a highly successful apprenticeship programme over recent years and we are committed to creating a culture where recruiting an apprentice is the norm for employers.

“Apprenticeships offer a credible alternative to traditional academic routes into employment and can help people of all ages to gain on the job experience while studying for a nationally recognised qualification. That Lovell has secured this new National Skills Academy is great news for the area and the wider industry.”

Mark Bodger, strategic partnerships director for The Construction Training Industry Board Wales, says: “CITB is committed to working with housebuilders and experts like Lovell to ensure the right skills are in place to build the houses of the future. The awarding of the NSAfC is testament to Lovell’s commitment in putting training at the forefront of their projects. It’s fantastic to see how the academy is already making a difference to the local community and helping young people secure work in the construction sector.”

Lovell undertakes its training programmes in close collaboration with its subcontractor partners.

Lovell is currently delivering a number of high-profile housing projects in South Wales including The Mill, Canton, which is creating a brand-new 800-home urban village west of Cardiff city centre, transforming the former Arjo Wiggins paper mill site with stylish apartments and homes. The development will feature 358 homes for open market sale by Lovell and 442 homes for rent which will be managed by Cadwyn Housing Association for the Tirion Group. The scheme is going ahead with the support of the Welsh Government and financial backing from the Principality Building Society, and is being developed by the Tirion Group in partnership with Lovell.

In Newport, Lovell is working on the third and fourth phases of the £30 million Loftus Garden Village development by housing provider Pobl Group. The overall scheme will create 250 high-quality Arts and Crafts-inspired homes set amid extensive landscaping.

Lovell is also working on Oakfield Grange: a £13.6 million 78-home development of high-quality homes on the former site of Llantarnam Community Primary School in Cwmbran. It will include 55 brand-new freehold two-, three- and four-bedroom houses for open market sale, significantly extending choice for local homebuyers.

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