Erith Park regeneration brings major apprentice boost

Orbit and Wates Residential’s work to develop a brand new community at Erith Park is creating extensive opportunities for training and employment, with the flagship regeneration project supporting the careers of over 40 apprentices. The news comes during National Apprenticeship…

Orbit and Wates Residential’s work to develop a brand new community at Erith Park is creating extensive opportunities for training and employment, with the flagship regeneration project supporting the careers of over 40 apprentices.

The news comes during National Apprenticeship Week (6-10 March) and marks the largest project-based investment in apprentices across the Wates Group’s current nationwide portfolio.

Carried out throughout Wates Residential’s work at Erith Park, the site-based training has so far included 31 apprentices. The developer has also committed to engage a further 14 apprentices by December this year as part of the project’s second phase.

Kerris, a bricklayer apprentice at Erith Park, commented:

“The best thing about working at Erith Park is that it’s local. I’ve learnt so much and I now have more experience. If other women are interested in getting into construction I would say go for it!”

Wates Residential’s work at Erith Park is being delivered in partnership with Orbit and London Borough of Bexley, a collaboration that formed in 2012 to transform the 1970s Larner Road estate into the revived community of Erith Park.

Phase one of the regeneration programme included 344 homes, which were completed in December 2015. Throughout this phase, Wates also carried out a range of project visits for local schools and colleges as part of a detailed community investment plan.

This phase also saw Wates hold its industry-leading Building Futures training programme, a two-week intensive course designed to kick-start careers in construction. The Building Futures programme at Erith Park was attended by 17 local jobseekers, 13 of which went on to secure full time employment and further training.

Now under development, the second phase of Erith Park will include 244 homes, which are expected to be complete by 2018. In addition to their shared apprenticeship commitments, Wates Residential and Orbit have made a pledge to create nine work experience opportunities for local people during this phase.

Caroline Field, Orbit’s regeneration manager commented:

“Erith Park is a stunning new development which is changing perceptions of Erith. Being involved in the construction at the beginning of their careers helps to give our local apprentices a real sense of pride and achievement.”

Paul Nicholls, Regional Managing Director, Wates Residential, commented:

“If ever there was a model example of local investment bringing benefit to local people, Erith Park is it. The development itself is transforming the community and the lives of its residents, breathing new life into housing and local amenities, and creating a cohesive sense of community.

“The Wates Residential team share with our partners at Orbit and London Borough of Bexley a passion and drive to invest in as many training and employment opportunities as possible. National Apprenticeship Week is the ideal time to celebrate what has been and will continue to be achieved at Erith Park.”