Just the job for Cradley youngsters
Housing and care organisation, Midland Heart is helping local young people to gain much needed vocational experience at one of their development schemes in Cradley.
Eight local young men have directly benefitted from the contract to build an £18m Extra Care scheme on the land of the former Cradley High School site, off Slade Road in Cradley.
The scheme has provided apprenticeship opportunities and enabled some apprentices to convert their diplomas and gain the site experiences needed to finish their qualifications up to NVQ Level 3.
18 year old Ryan Pawney, from Quarry Bank, completed his NVQ Level 2 in Bricklaying in November and has been taken on by the sub-contractor he trained with. He is now working on the site as a fully qualified bricklayer
Ryan said: "I am happy with the hands on experience I was able to gain on site; it meant I was able to finish my training and become fully qualified. The fact that it has also led to a permanent job is brilliant."
The scheme, recently named Lime Gardens, will provide affordable quality housing for over 55s in Cradley with 120 homes for rent and sale, extensive health and leisure facilities and 24-hour care and support for those who need it.
Nick Byrne, Deputy Director of Assets at Midland Heart said: "We're very pleased that we have been able to help these young people gain the experience they need. As an organisation we are committed to creating opportunities which make a contribution to tackling youth unemployment. The success and achievements demonstrated here are great examples of how a development like this benefits the whole community."
Lime Gardens is being developed in partnership with Dudley Council and is designed to promote independent living for Dudley's over 55s, with communal leisure facilities including a shop, restaurant, library, gym and well-being facility which will form the focal point of the community living there.
Councillor Waltho, cabinet member for housing, said: "This is the council's third extra care housing scheme that we are developing in partnership with Midland Heart. Our vision for extra care is to provide schemes where older people can live independently, in a safe environment. But I am delighted that this scheme is also able to benefit local young people by providing training and employment opportunities."
Mark Chettleburgh, production director at William Davis added: "Construction apprenticeships present viable career opportunities for young people and we are committed to promoting the benefits of ‘earning and learning' across all our sites. It is particularly rewarding to be able to train local craftsmen like Ryan, who take pride in making a tangible contribution to their community."
Lime Gardens was completed in Spring 2015.