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More Than 1,200 Local Residents Helped Into Jobs On City’s New Developments

New developments in Leeds helped more than 1,200 local residents into jobs in just over a year.

A string of major projects currently in the pipeline across the city could also create almost 14,000 more new employment opportunities.

Figures from Leeds City Council show that between September 2012 and January 2014, 1,230 people secured new jobs and 57 young people joined apprenticeships as part of developments around the city.


The jobs were secured by local people as part of obligations set out either in council contracts or Section 106 agreements with the developers during the planning process.

Major projects included the First Direct arena, which saw 80 local residents secure construction jobs along with apprenticeships and work experience given to young people on site.

Local residents also took up 210 of the 300 jobs available at the new venue once it opened its doors.

Developments also included the Trinity Leeds shopping centre, which saw 55 Leeds residents given construction jobs and 19 young people become apprentices.

Shops and businesses in the centre have also taken on 415 local residents since the development opened.

Recruitment for the new Asda store at Middleton also saw the council support more than 1,000 local residents with employability skills through 39 local workshops. More than 150 local residents secured new jobs from the 226 available at Asda.

Future developments are also expected to potentially mean thousands more local jobs.

Projections for the extension of the White Rose Shopping Centre indicate the project could support up to 50 construction jobs and up to 1,000 full and part-time retail and hospitality roles.

Phase one of the landmark Victoria Gate retail development, which includes a new John Lewis store, could create 700 construction jobs and 1,200 positions in retail and hospitality.

The mixed use housing and leisure development at Thorpe Park will potentially mean 330 construction roles and up to 10,700 additional jobs over the next 25 years.

Commenting on the figures, Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills, said:

“Everyone in Leeds has seen the massive difference that these major developments have made to the city.

“But as well as making Leeds a more vibrant and exciting place to live and visit, one of our key targets was also to ensure these projects would give local residents the opportunity to secure new jobs and play a big part in the huge success these developments have enjoyed.

“That will continue to be one of our most important goals going forward, and with so many key developments either planned or already ongoing, the future is looking extremely bright for the local jobs market.”

Councillor Peter Gruen, the council’s executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and personnel, added:

“The difference these agreements make in helping people into work is there for all to see and the number of local residents who have been given a chance to make a new start is something the council is very proud of.

“As the local planning authority, we always do our utmost to make sure agreements are put in place before planning permission is agreed on developments that have the potential to generate a high number of jobs. By working with developers and contractors in this way we can maximise the opportunities for local residents.

“Through a combination of hard work from local residents and the council’s encouragement of developers to provide increased employment opportunities, we are confident that these agreements will continue to play a crucial role in supporting sustainable economic growth across the city.”

Leeds Set To Build On Apprenticeship Success

With over 80 apprentices employed on work procured through Housing Leeds and with another 10 in the pipeline, Leeds City Council and partners working in construction throughout the city are keen to build on successful apprenticeship schemes so far.

Housing Leeds provide construction apprenticeships through their Construction Services team and apprenticeships are also delivered through contractors working for Housing Leeds and delivering other major infrastructure improvements within the city.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

“We know Leeds has similar youth unemployment challenges to many other areas, and we want to make sure building a better city involves improving opportunities for people as well as improving bricks and mortar.

“I’ve been delighted that so many of the organisations we work with share my passion for improving the life chances of people, and are helping offer the training, skills and opportunities presented by these apprenticeships.

“We know it isn’t only young people who can benefit, so I encourage anyone who thinks they might be interested to find out more about the possibility of an apprenticeship to find out more on our website.”

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills, said:

“As well as the improvements to the city’s infrastructure this investment will deliver, there is a massive opportunity to provide construction employment and training for Leeds citizens.

“It is generally accepted that £1m of construction investment should deliver at least one apprentice year of training and so there is a massive opportunity with the current investment programme in Leeds.”

Jon Hinchliff, sc4L General Manager, said:

“We’ve already had a great experience working with the council and delivering quality training and employment prospects for apprentices in the city. There’s a wide range of roles on offer – not just the more obvious construction jobs – but we’ve had apprentices in administration, customer services and communications too.

“We’re aiming for a further 23 apprenticeships in 10 trade areas to be recruited to start between September and December 2014, which is why I really welcome the announcement that this collaboration is to continue.”


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