An ambitious programme to build 331 homes throughout the East Riding of Yorkshire is helping to create jobs for people from the area.
Local contractors are being used on schemes in towns and villages throughout the East Riding as part of the £46.5m programme – funded by East Riding of Yorkshire Council, and the Homes and Communities Agency, which has contributed £20.16m to the project.
The programme has also helped to find work for 16 new apprentices who are keen to get a start in the construction and housing management sectors. Of these 10 are hosted by the council but work on a day to day basis with the construction companies, a further four are employed directly by contractors.
Two have also been employed in more office-based roles to help manage the allocation and management of the new build programme.
Whether they have just left school or are looking for a new career, the skills they learn and training they will be given will be an invaluable boost to their CVs.
Nicole Williams, 16, from Beverley became an apprentice joiner, as a direct result of the affordable housing programme, with the council as soon as she left school.
She is now helping to construct buildings as part of the council’s affordable housing scheme, working on the framework of the buildings as well as more visible pieces of work including floor joists, architraves, skirting and doors.
She said: “It’s my first time building properties and I fancied a bit of a change. It’s interesting doing something a bit different. When the buildings are finished I will be able to look at them and say that I was involved in that.”
As part of her apprenticeship Nicole is being sponsored on an NVQ, which she hopes will boost her CV and make her more employable in the future.
She said: “The NVQ is quite highly looked upon by employers, more than other qualifications.
“I hope it will lead to other jobs in the future. I’d like to stay with the council or become self employed in the future.
“I’m quite lucky to have this job. I don’t really know what I would have done if I wasn’t doing this. I’d have looked for something hands on.”
The project will create high quality affordable homes in the areas where they are most needed in the East Riding. New homes will help to reduce the number of people currently on the council’s housing waiting list.
Those who are now living in homes which are too large for them will also be given the chance to trade them in for a more manageable property in a location which is right for them. This will free up larger properties for families.
Leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Councillor Stephen Parnaby, OBE and Helen Williams, investment manager at the Homes and Communities Agency will be visiting the site on Monday, 4 October, where they will meet Nicole and the contractors to see the work which is happening on site.
Cllr Parnaby said: “This exciting project will see high quality homes built by the council for the first time in more than two decades. By offering these newly built homes to people who can benefit from them we hope to make a real difference to improving their quality of life.
“These homes are being built to a very high standard and with energy efficiency in mind which will not only help the tenants to save money, it will also help the environment.”
Helen Williams said:
“I am delighted to meet Nicole and see the real people who are benefiting from our investment.
“It is excellent that our funding is providing not only homes that people want in their local communities at the same time as creating and protecting jobs for people like Nicole.”
Jason Papprill, managing director of Hobson & Porter, who have built several of the schemes for the council, will also be at the site on October 4.
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“We were delighted to be asked by East Riding of Yorkshire Council to work on these projects and to deliver much needed affordable accommodation in the area.
“The houses completed and currently under construction have achieving high standards of quality and energy saving design which will benefit local residents and the wider public in East Yorkshire.
“We are also very pleased to be working in partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire Council, YORbuild and the HCA in providing construction skills training to apprentices and the construction team as part of our ongoing commitment to personal and professional development within the industry.
“The construction sector has suffered a huge loss of jobs and skills during the recession and we are determined to ensure these skills are maintained and carried forward to the next generation.”