Chester’s Northgate development boosts apprentice numbers

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Northgate, construction apprenticeship

To date, 11 apprentices have been employed to work on the Chester Northgate development within the first six months of the scheme’s construction

Chester County Council, Vinci Construction UK plus contractors have all demonstrated a strong commitment to ensuring the development can offer opportunities for young people to forge a career in the construction industry.

Vinci Construction UK has also contributed to a number of community initiatives including sponsorship of the Grosvenor Museum, fundraising for the Chester homeless and installing a defibrillator at Lache Community Centre.

Gaining valuable onsite experience

Rachel Hughes, undertaking an apprenticeship as a design & build technician, said: “Being a practical individual, finding an apprenticeship in the construction industry was always my first choice, however, due to Covid-19 and the shortage of apprenticeships available, university subsequently became my fall-back option.

“However, as soon I saw the job advertised as a Design & Build Technician, I had no hesitation in applying. With this apprenticeship, I’ve had a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable onsite experience with the benefits of earning whilst I’m learning and becoming a valued member of the Northgate team.”

Matthew Peterson is in his second year of completing a HND in Construction and the Built Environment, also looked at university but chose an apprenticeship as an opportunity to get into the industry and further his education to degree level.

Matthew said: “My apprenticeship allows me to work in different sectors of the company to experience various fields of construction, meaning I can gain a wider knowledge of how the business works and ensure I choose a path to develop my career further. I also go to college on a block release basis.

“My current rotation is quantity surveying where I have been sending tenders out and analyzing quotations, I am surrounded by many experienced colleagues and constantly benefitting from their support and expertise.

“Adjusting our working practices to minimize the risk of Covid-19 has also been an additional challenge to face.”

Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Louise Gittins said: “We stand united with Vinci Construction UK in our commitment to providing opportunities for young people as a result of the Northgate development; we look forward to seeing further Apprentices benefitting from our long-awaited transformation of Chester city centre.”

Garry Bowker, Vinci Construction UK’s North West Regional Director said: “We are extremely proud as a company that we are able to continue to offer high quality and long-term career opportunities in the construction industry.

“When investigating Apprenticeships, it’s important applicants do their research and make sure they find the right option; you’ll be starting a challenging job – trying to prove yourself in the workplace and getting to grips with studying for a higher or degree level qualification.”

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