Hundreds of construction workers needed to build new town

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Some 280 construction workers are required to create a new town near Plymouth that will see over 5,000 homes built…

Hundreds of construction staff will be needed to build 5,500 homes in the new town of Sherford.

The consortium working on the market town said it will need hundreds of construction staff, mainly apprentices, over the next 10 years.

The new town will include community facilities and necessary infrastructure. It will be built in phases, with construction set to start in spring.

The government invested £32m funding for the new town, which will require 100 new apprentices on top of an existing 100.  It is also expected around 80 jobs will be created for local people.

Christopher Grace, who will be Sherford Skills Training Co-ordinator, spoke to The Herald. He said: “These are minimum targets, set over 10 years. We’re determined to meet those targets – but want to go beyond them.”

Grace, who has over 20 years’ experience in town planning, economic development, corporate strategy, tourism, events and skills, has an office at City College Plymouth. The college won the training contract for the scheme alongside South Devon College. Grace said the project had the potential to create a permanent skilled workforce for the city.

He added: “This is job creation for local people. Sherford is a landmark development for Plymouth and the South Hams, and will encourage people, particularly young people, from all different backgrounds into work in the construction industry.

“This is a highly significant development in the South West in terms of its scale and ambition.

“The construction of the new Sherford community will require a large number of skilled workers across many trades, from roofers, brick-workers and carpenters to electricians and plumbers.

“My job will be to co-ordinate a training scheme and pipeline which links Sherford’s great training and employment opportunities to young people or those who have perhaps not previously considered the construction sector as a fulfilling career choice.”

Grace will visit training providers, schools, and community groups to encourage people to consider a career in construction.

He added: “There is going to be a shortage of skilled construction workers if schemes like this are not supported and implemented.

“Equally, there are many people who would like a new or better career, or who need to find work.

“We want to help them and in turn help the development and growth of our economy.

“Sherford will be developed over 10 or more years, so this is an unparalleled opportunity to help people learn key construction skills.”

The first training positions are expected to begin in spring 2016.

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