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Apprenticeships, training schemes and more as Crawley contractor Kier pledges to help local residents

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Crawley Borough Council’s contractor Kier has pledged to offer a range of employment and skills opportunities to local residents.

The contractor is currently building the council’s new Town Hall and commercial offices. This project is part of an agreement the council has entered into with Westrock, who 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.

This is a significant step in the Town Hall project and 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.

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.

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

Business

Furniture Village opens its doors in Crawley’s County Oak Retail Park

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Crawley welcomes Furniture Village who will open a brand-new store in County Oak retail park this Boxing Day.

The new location offers a Carpetright concession, providing a one-stop-shop for customers looking to update their homes.

Visitors to the new Furniture Village store will be invited to create their ‘home in one’, by exploring collections for every room of the house, from sofas to beds to dining.

Charlie Harrison, Commercial Director at Furniture Village, comments:

“With much of the UK under lockdown, I’m delighted we’ve been able to open our new store in Crawley. County Oak is a fantastic shopping destination and the ideal choice for Furniture Village.

“It’s been a challenging year for everyone, but I am incredibly proud of the Furniture Village team which continues to offer industry-leading quality, choice and service. As well as Family Retailer of the Year, we’ve also been awarded National Bed Retailer of the Year so I’m particularly looking forward to welcoming customers to our new bed department.”

The store will see a team of 11 expert sales consultants offering valuable insights and advice to customers, all made possible thanks to enhanced Covid-19 safety measures.

These include temperature checks, PPE for all staff and hand sanitisation stations, along with an appointment booking system which can be accessed via the website.

Charlie Harrison, Commercial Director at Furniture Village, adds:

“Customer safety is still, and will continue to be, a priority for us. The feedback from all of our existing stores continues to be overwhelmingly positive, with the appointment booking system providing reassurance and exceptional service for customers.”

The store will open at 9am on Saturday 26th December 2020. Opening offers include Sale discounts of up to 50% plus an additional £50 off every £500 spent.

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