A team of young apprentices have started work at the region’s largest housing-led regeneration scheme.
The Rise is the first phase of a project which will create 1,800 new homes in Scotswood, Newcastle, as well as community and commercial facilities, parks and public open spaces on a 66 hectare site.
Construction partners Barratt Homes North East and Keepmoat Homes have now taken on trainee bricklayers Connor Summerville, 17, from Scotswood, Michael Connor, 20 and Ryan Gadomski, 19, both from Gosforth, and trainee joiners Taylor Robson, 16, from Newcastle, Neil Bulloch, 18, from Benwell and Jamie Tulip, 19, from Walbottle.
In addition, Vicky Dixon, 18, from Fenham has secured a business administration apprenticeship with the New Tyne West Development Company – the joint venture partnership between Barratt, Keepmoat and Newcastle City Council which is driving the Scotswood initiative.
And Sarah Hewitt, 18, from Scotswood, has started her catering apprenticeship at the Scotswood Community Cafe, which has seen trade increase due to the influx of construction workers.
Neil Bulloch said: “I heard about the opportunity at Newcastle College and it is great to be learning a trade.
“I’m so happy to be working after making loads of unsuccessful applications.”
Development director Duncan Bowman said: “From the outset the aim has been to develop a new community to complement and merge with the strong existing community in the area.
“In addition, we want to create jobs and supply chain opportunities for local businesses.
“I am delighted that within just a few weeks of starting construction the partnership has been able to provide these young people with the chance to learn new skills and forge new careers.”
The Rise is one of several sites in Newcastle that are part of a Targeted Recruitment and Training Project, through which the city council has helped secure employment and training opportunities for residents through the use of planning agreements and also by including clauses in council contracts.
Cabinet member for communities and local ward councillor, Hazel Stephenson added: “At last, it is wonderful to see the first houses being constructed on this site and it is even more encouraging that this development is able to give a handful of local young people a chance to gain valuable skills and begin a meaningful working life.”