Jobseekers have career kickstart at Kirkstall Forge

12 jobseekers in Leeds have had a construction career kick-start at CEG’s new £400m Kirkstall Forge development where main contractor, Wates Construction, has held its site-based ‘Building Futures’ training course.

The major skills investment closely follows the launch of the Forging Futures Campus, a unique centre for construction training at Kirkstall Forge, which has been established to provide training and employment opportunities for the people of Leeds.

The two-week ‘Building Futures’ course, run in conjunction with Wates Living Space, saw candidates undertake a series of trade sessions on site at Kirkstall Forge, including carpentry and bricklaying as well as CV workshops to support future employment.

Each candidate has worked towards receiving a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card and a Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in the Construction Environment, both designed to grant access to future training and employment on building sites.
The intensive training course culminated in a community project to put some of the candidates’ new skills into practice. The gardening project in Hawksworth Wood, included cutting down vegetation and flower planting to encourage wildlife growth.

 The group has really gelled and I’ve enjoyed being part of the team here. Building Futures has given me insight into what happens in construction and I’m looking forward to my future career opportunities.”


Joel Dyer, Candidate

‘Building Futures’ has been carried out alongside Wates’ work on site, which includes the construction of a new seven-storey office development, the first building at the major Kirkstall Forge scheme.

Our ‘Building Futures’ programme at Kirkstall Forge puts into practice the commitments we set out when we launched the Forging Futures Campus earlier this year; to ensure that our work is used as a live classroom where new careers in construction can be kick-started. I began my career as an apprentice bricklayer so I am more than familiar with the value of having hands-on work experience and I am very impressed with the skills that each of our candidates has demonstrated in the past two weeks.


“It’s really important that we keep this momentum going for the candidates and our team is now working with them to secure further work experience opportunities, which will really help them on their way to a bright future in this fantastic industry.”


Paul Dodsworth, Business Unit Director of Wates Construction, Yorkshire & North East



We are delighted to see more and more people coming through the skills campus at Kirkstall Forge, taking full advantage of the training facilities on offer here and gaining valuable hands on experience. It also provides a shopping pool for apprentices, enabling local contractors and companies to see the students of Forging Futures Campus in action on site.”


Jon Kenny, Director at CEG

Building Futures at Kirkstall Forge was made possible through support from Fortifire, ABCA Systems, Peter Duffys, Michael Page Recruitment, O’Neill and Brennan Recruitment.

Kirkstall Forge’s Forging Futures Campus was launched by CEG and Wates in partnership with Leeds City Council and Leeds College of Building in March this year.
Jointly funded by CEG and the Wates Family Enterprise Trust’s charitable grant initiative, Wates Giving, the Forging Futures Campus has been designed to increase employment prospects through vocational training. Activities include opportunities for apprenticeships, site visits and work experience placements.