Construction sites across Nine Elms on the South Bank are looking to fill a number of vacancies right now, including labourers, scaffolding labourers, dry liners, assistant quantity surveyor and painting and decorating apprentices.
A steady stream of live jobs is advertised through Wandsworth and Lambeth Councils’ jobs brokerages, Wandsworth Work Match and Lambeth Working, whose role is to support local people into jobs.
Over £15billion is being invested in Nine Elms on the South Bank, one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe. The area, which includes parts of Lambeth and Wandsworth, stretches from Lambeth Bridge to Chelsea Bridge. Underutilised industrial land is being transformed to make way for 20,000 new homes, new public spaces, two new tube stations and 6.5million sq. ft. of commercial space. The construction programme is expected to create 22,000 new jobs before 2023 with 8,000 new roles at its peak, which is fast approaching.
With construction well underway across 16 sites and more due to start soon, the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership, the team behind the area’s regeneration, is also taking steps to tackle the shortage of construction skills affecting the wider construction industry.
Nine Elms on the South Bank is characterised by high density mixed-use developments, which require innovative new construction techniques. There is an acknowledged skills gap in these new trades with existing training focused in traditional construction courses. In response to this, the Partnership has worked with the construction industry and Further Education Colleges to help pilot new courses relevant to these trades.
In a first for London, the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership has set up a pre vocational training programme in dry lining, fenestration/curtain walling and asbestos removal. The first pilots already successfully completed, the next course will be on fenestration/curtain walling which will start spring 2016.
In the meantime, the Partnership is working with South Thames College to deliver a Level One Wood Trades and Fit Out course starting January 2016. Learning the wood trades is considered a good foundation for a career in construction, since the skills learned lend themselves to a number of other trades including fenestration and dry lining. The course has been designed to offer candidates an industry recognised qualification as well as the opportunity to work on a live site with qualified carpenters. Successful candidates will progress in the industry through apprenticeships or NVQs.
We are looking for candidates, aged 18+ and living in Wandsworth or Lambeth, who are physically fit, able to work at heights, and who hold a valid CSCS card or are willing to attend training to obtain a CSCS card. Some prior experience of construction would be an advantage, as would experience of wood trades.
One person who has benefited from the pre-employment training initiatives is Wandsworth resident Margaret Asante:
“Through , I secured a Trainee Site Management position with the Conneely Group on their contract at St James’ Riverlight development site in Nine Elms. I had little prior experience in the construction industry, but now I’ve reached a stage where I am now training someone to take over the role I initially started in. I would most certainly recommend the industry to other Wandsworth residents.”
Cllr Ravi Govindia, co-chair of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership and leader of Wandsworth Council, commented:
“Construction in Nine Elms is picking up at a cracking pace. It’s the council’s priority to ensure that Wandsworth residents are first in line to take advantage of the resulting new jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities. Once the buildings are ready, we’ll then have a further 25,000 new jobs to offer, across a whole range of business sectors. The area’s regeneration really does present a tremendous opportunity.”
Cllr Jack Hopkins, Lambeth Cabinet Member for Jobs & Growth, said:
“The development of Nine Elms on the South Bank is a huge opportunity for this part of London. Many thousands of jobs are being created and we want Lambeth residents to take full advantage. Right now, there are opportunities to learn a whole new set of skills through apprenticeships and training that can get people into work and lay the foundations for a valuable and fulfilling career in the construction industry.”