New offices boost for jobs and economy

1 November 2016

Newark and Sherwood District Council’s multi-million pound investment in new public sector office accommodation has helped bring a welcome boost to the local economy and provided jobs and apprenticeships for local people.

Thirty sub-contractors and design team members are being employed by main contractors RG Carter of which 25 are based within a 45-mile radius of the Great North Road construction site.

Three apprentices are part of the team working on the project and RG Carter is actively engaged with its sub-contractors to provide employment for a number of local people and to keep at least 75 per cent of its contract spend within a 45-mile radius of Newark, as part of its own local sustainability guidelines. At present the company is over-performing at 83 per cent.

Staff recruited by the firm include a forklift operator, gateman, and an apprentice site manager/ technician – all of whom are local to Newark. The apprentice site agent /technician was appointed after visiting the  Newark Jobs fair which RG Carter was involved as part of  their previous appointment to build the Newark Sports and Fitness Centre.

Local teenager, Matthew Buckley, has been taken on apprenticeship terms and a Newark fork-lift truck driver Ivan Hall who, having first been recruited as a trainee, now works full-time as a direct result of the company’s work for the council.

Matthew (18) completed work experience on the construction of the sports centre and Ivan was first employed by the company also on that project. Earlier on in the construction of the sports centre, RG Carter was able to recruit two construction apprentices to work on the sports centre including Chris Hill who has been working on the council’s new offices.

Matthew, who has begun studying for a BSc in construction management having left school earlier in the summer with three A-levels, said: “The new office development is a really interesting project to be working on, and being  taken on as an apprentice will enable me to earn and learn at the same time. I’ve always been interesting in building things, and this is really good opportunity for me to start a career in construction.”

Ivan (25) initially worked on an agency basis during the construction of the new sports centre before being offered full-time work with RG Carter. He said: “I like the way RG Carter worked, and enjoy working outdoors basically. It’s good to be hands on with any job I do.”

Ashley Else, project manager for RG Carter, said: “We have brought in these people because we feel they have a genuine future in the business and in construction, so we’ve got to try to give them a platform where their skills can be fully be realised. Their employment is obviously as a direct result of Newark and Sherwood’s investment in this scheme. We recognise and appreciate that.

"I think it’s incredibly important that the clients take a lead in incentivising us to invest in young people. As an industry, investing in training has been diminished through some quite difficult times. However, we are a family-run business and the mind-set from board level down was that we needed to continue to invest in people for when better times were hopefully around the corner.

Council leader Councillor Roger Blaney said: “The project is not only forward-looking in terms of providing modern and purpose-built accommodation for the council and its public sector partners, it is providing wider benefits for employment and the economy of  the district.”

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