October 28, 2020

Edinburgh developer hosts National Apprenticeship Week taster session

To mark National Apprenticeship Week (18-22 May) regeneration company Urban Union held a Careers Taster Session, on Friday 22 May welcoming young people interested in construction careers.

Urban Union, who is constructing over 700 new homes for the City of Edinburgh Council’s 21st Century Homes programme, partnered with Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to offer local young people the opportunity to find out more about what’s involved in a trade based apprenticeship.

The session was designed to provide candidates with a first-hand glimpse of the construction industry and related sectors as well as generate overall interest in apprenticeships and work placements on the first phase of the Pennywell regeneration. Candidates had the opportunity to experience what it’s like to work at the development, which is one of Scotland’s largest housing-led regeneration projects.

At the event, candidates enjoyed a site tour and participated in practical workshops in brickwork, levelling, groundwork and joinery, which took place within Urban Union’s dedicated training zone.

Graeme Nicol, Managing Director, Urban Union, said: “Today was a fantastic success we were delighted to welcome along the interested candidates to the Pennywell development, who were all eager to learn more about construction, engineering and architecture.

“We’ve been working closely with CITB to deliver this session and ensure that is informative, relevant and engaging for people.  We want to ensure they get as much from it as possible and take away practical key skills enabling them to take the next steps in the construction industry.”

Candidates also received advice and career guidance from CITB about possible routes into the construction industry and training programmes.

Phil Ford, Strategic Partnerships Director at CITB Scotland said: “CITB is delighted to be supporting this event with Urban Union. As the construction industry moves into a period of growth it’s crucially important that we have a steady supply of young people who are eager to start on apprenticeship programmes.

“This event offers a great opportunity for young people to find out more about the fantastic range of career opportunities that are available in the construction sector.”

Mr Nicol continued: “Today is another example of the Pennywell housing development playing a pivotal role in the regeneration of the area by bringing substantial benefits to the community through employment and training opportunities.”

Housing Convener, Councillor Cammy Day, said: “Pennywell is an excellent example of how investing in high-quality, affordable housing can significantly enhance the local area while offering wider benefits to the community. As a Council, we’ve invested £42m into this project, which is progressing well and is a major step in the regeneration of the north of Edinburgh.

“I am very pleased that the construction process has not only created job opportunities for local residents but is also engaging with young people and teaching them practical skills. I am sure that those who took part in the session have gained a valuable insight into the construction industry and I wish them all the best in their future careers.”

Councillor Frank Ross, Economy Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “More than 1,000 jobs for young people have been created through the Edinburgh Guarantee, and events like this one at Pennywell help to support this work.

“Apprenticeships give school-leavers the chance to gain vital skills while earning a wage at the same time, which has a knock-on effect on the capital’s economy.”

The Pennywell development is one of Scotland’s largest housing-led regeneration projects, which is set to provide 356 social and mid-market rent homes, along with 363 new properties for private sale.

The extensive development, which is being built by regeneration experts Urban Union, is a result of a major investment of £42m by the City of Edinburgh Council and includes £7.9m grant funding from the Scottish Government.