North East Connected

Kicking off construction skills courses

A North East regeneration partnership and Newcastle United Football Club’s (NUFC) Foundation are kicking off a six-week construction skills programme.

As part of the course, led and delivered by NUFC Foundation, 14 students were invited to New Tyne West Development Company’s (NTWDC) site, The Rise in Scotswood, Newcastle.

The visit provided the opportunity for the group, aged between 16 to 24, to experience work on a live construction site as well as finding out about the varied job roles available in the industry.

It is hoped that at the end of the programme, which includes completing a two-week work experience placement and several industry recognised certifications, that NTWDC will provide an opportunity for two of the students to pursue an apprenticeship at The Rise.

NTWDC is a partnership between Newcastle City Council and Keepmoat Homes, which since its formation in 2013, has improved access to employment, created 18 apprenticeship roles, safeguarded over 1000 jobs and backed a number of school and non-development apprenticeships projects.

Geoff Scott, Social Value Manager with Keepmoat Homes North East said: “By working with NUFC Foundation and its other construction partners, we are helping to make the industry more accessible to a wider audience and giving the students a real insight into the business and the varying job roles that are on offer.”

Lee McGray, Director of NTWDC added: “It is important through developments like The Rise that we continue to provide training and employment for local people.  Furthermore, the industry needs to invest in the next generation of construction workers to ensure that we can continue to provide a highly skilled and competent task force.”

This is the second year that the Newcastle United Foundation has delivered a construction programme, which was previously completed under the Kickstart Scheme in 2021 with a number of local businesses.  Supporting organisations include Keepmoat Homes, Robertson, BAM, Bell Group and Newcastle City Council.

Jessica Dixon, Youth Employment Partnership Coordinator with Newcastle United Foundation added: “We’re pleased to be offering this bespoke pathway into construction with thanks mainly to the fantastic collaboration of businesses involved across the sector. Our aim is to inform and inspire young people to pursue their career goals as part of our NU Futures programme and it’s great to bring young people out to sites where they can see industry in action.”

NTWDC has completed more than 400 homes at The Rise – 332 for private sale and the remainder for affordable rent and shared ownership.

Local community and charity groups have benefitted from up to £75,000 each year from a fund set up to support a range of educational, art and environmental initiatives, celebrating the area’s history.

The latest phase of development at The Rise has benefited from a £2.9 million grant from the North of Tyne Combined Authority’s £32m Brownfield Housing Programme.

*Photo caption: (L-R) is Social Value Manager at Keepmoat Homes, Geoff Scott; Project Officer on NU Futures Programme, Hannah Rowan and Jess Dixon Youth Employment Partnership Co-ordinator of NUFC Foundation and Director of NTWDC Lee McGray with students.

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