Greater Brighton residents will soon be able to access support to skill up as part of a major development in Greater Brighton.

Crawley Borough Council is working with contractor Kier to create a new Town Hall and commercial offices. As part of deal, Westrock will oversee the additional development of 273 new flats, of which 109 will be affordable, a new public square, public realm improvements and new District Heat Network.

The two-year build project, which started in December 2019, will see both Kier and its supply chain partners deliver 36 opportunities which include apprenticeships, traineeships, work placements, training schemes and careers guidance workshops to local students.

It will also see the creation of the council’s Town Centre Skills Academy for construction, which supports the council’s Employment and Skills Programme.

The work will also contribute to the National Skills Academy for Construction Programme, which the council adopted in partnership with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). This provides a framework for public sector organisations with responsibility for procuring construction work to create employment and skills opportunities related initiatives for local residents.

Kier has already successfully provided a number of apprenticeships in both trade roles and administration, graduate opportunities and industrial placements and will be working with the council’s employment support service, Employ Crawley, to reach local residents. Kier will continue to offer:

  • Upskilling of construction students through programmes and activities with Crawley College to make the students work ready
  • T levels for local secondary schools through construction and administration programmes
  • Mentoring, CV skills, interview skills, maths lessons, green build, coaching and guidance to Crawley students
  • Indirect apprentices through the supply chain – this could be in a range of areas throughout the construction phases with beneficiaries being local to the project
  • A wide range of industry and site-based qualifications, from working at height through to health and safety training, will be carried out on site with all personnel and supply chain.

Councillor Peter Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, said: “This is a positive move for residents, the council and Kier. While we may be facing economic difficulties, the council is committed to working with our partners to provide more job opportunities and build on the strengths and skills of our residents and empower them to pursue long and successful careers.”

Jamie Howard, Graduate Site Manager, said: “As a graduate from Crawley, Kier has given me an amazing opportunity to work on a project so close to home, in which I can look back on for years to come with much satisfaction. Kier has really invested in my development and has exposed me to a wide range of opportunities and learning.”

Louisa Finlay, Managing Director from Kier Regional Building Southern, said: “We are committed to leaving lasting legacies in areas in which we build and over the duration of this project, we will provide a range of job and training opportunities for the Crawley community.

“Working collaboratively with Crawley Borough Council, we will look to inspire residents to consider a career within construction, by showcasing the innovation being used within the industry, the fascinating roles available and how they can help to shape the skylines of tomorrow.”

For more information about the council’s Employment and Skills Programme, visit www.investcrawley.co.uk/employment-and-skills/employments-and-skills-programme