20 September 2017

Circus Street welcomes first apprentice

Wannabe electrician, 16-year-old Toby McCauley from Patcham, was welcomed on site for his first full day as apprentice on the U+I Circus Street construction project in central Brighton this week.

The City College student will be working on the site for two days a week, while he studies to become an electrician at MET College (formerly City College Brighton and Hove).

He said, “My Dad’s an electrician and I enjoy practical work, so I’ve always wanted to be an electrician. This is a really great opportunity for me – not many kids get a chance to work on such a major project and I’m excited about learning on the Circus Street site.”

More vacancies for apprenticeships will become available after Christmas according to Chris Sloan, Project Manager for Circus Street from Henry Construction.

“This is just the start of our focus on employing local people. Working closely with Brighton & Hove City Council’s Local Employment Scheme Co-ordinator, we are trying to recruit as many local people on site as possible because it benefits everybody. We have eight jobs to recruit right now and were at Brighton & Hove Job Fair this week aiming to fill some of our vacancies – and we’ve already employed 20 local people on the site,” Chris Sloan said.

Stephen Head, machine operator and Benjamin Caesar Ajani, plant operator, are among the first local people employed and current job vacancies include an undergraduate construction project manager, a trainee quantity surveyor, an undergraduate planner, machine operators and general labourers. Details can be found at Brighton & Hove Job Centre.

Karen McCormick from U+I, the developers behind the project, said: “Local involvement in the development of this regeneration project is one of the things that excites us most about Circus Street. Our local recruitment means that residents are creating the community in which they live and it is a level of investment that goes beyond financial; it is an investment in Brighton’s future.”

U+I announced that construction had started last month, having secured funding for the delivery of the project with GCP Student Living plc, the UK’s first Real Estate Investment Trust focused on student residential accommodation, and Gravis Capital Management Limited. A public private partnership between U+I and Brighton & Hove City Council, this important £130 million project will see a derelict, former fruit and vegetable market in central Brighton transformed into a thriving new quarter and cultural destination for the city. U+I is also the developer bringing forward proposals for Preston Barracks and the University of Brighton’s Moulsecoomb campus.

The development, designed by leading architects shedkm with TP Bennett, will create over 400 jobs and inject £200 million into the local economy over the next ten years and includes 142 new homes; 450 student bedrooms; 30,000 sq ft of new office space plus workshops offering creative businesses start up accommodation and room to grow.

British firm Henry Construction was appointed as contractor standing out for their emphasis on offering local jobs and apprenticeships for young people on the construction.

As part of the planning process, Brighton & Hove City Council makes it a requirement that employment and training opportunities are provided on all major developments.

Brighton & Hove City Council leader Warren Morgan said: “It’s crucial that local people have the opportunity to work on this exciting project and it is great to see the first apprentices coming on site and learning a range of skills. This scheme is set to provide many benefits for the city’s residents, creating new homes, jobs and business spaces, alongside new community and cultural facilities.”

Work on the site is progressing fast and the majority of the buildings on site will be complete in 2019.