NORTHAMPTON, England, January 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Business Secretary Vince Cable is visiting Northampton today to see its plans for driving economic growth in the area. The Business Secretary will meet local construction apprentices, as well as leaders from the South East Midlands local enterprise partnership. They will discuss economic development in the region, one of the UK's strongest locations for private sector jobs growth.
Announced by the Government in August, the Northampton Enterprise Zone covers 120 hectares of mostly brownfield land alongside the River Nene. It is managed by the South East Midlands local enterprise partnership and aims to build on regional strengths in advanced technologies, high performance engineering, and low carbon technology. The first building for the Zone was approved earlier this month, a £6.5m innovation centre that will house up to 55 small businesses.
Whilst in Northampton, the Business Secretary will also meet young apprentices from a ground-breaking training scheme known as Construction Futures. The scheme has an innovative approach, which makes the delivery of construction apprenticeships a legal requirement for developers that receive planning permission. The Business Secretary will meet budding brick-layers and electricians at a major housing development in Upton.
Vince Cable said:
"Northampton is showing that despite tough economic conditions there are still innovative ways that new jobs and growth can be delivered at a local level.
"I am particularly pleased to see apprentices working on live construction sites as part of the Construction Futures scheme, which offers an effective way to secure job opportunities for young people. Both this scheme and the Northampton Enterprise Zone will provide new jobs and drive growth across the region."
Notes for editors
- According to NOMIS official labour market statistics, private sector employment in Northampton grew by 1.3% (1,300 people) between 2009 and 2010. This is the 8th highest rise of any UK city and compares to a fall of 1.4% nationally in the same period.
About Construction Futures:
- Construction Futures was established by West Northamptonshire Development Corporation in 2009 and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. It offers both long-term apprenticeships and short-term training placements, alongside an accredited qualification.
- When a developer makes a planning application, Construction Futures uses specialist software to forecast the potential training and apprenticeship opportunities on the site. It then agrees these requirements with the developer and embeds them in the legal agreements tied to any planning permission.
- The Construction Futures team works with local colleges to supply site ready trainees for the new developments. It has secured apprenticeships, as well as short-term training placements in 37 legal agreements to date in West Northamptonshire. This has secured in excess of 2,000 training weeks, with many more in the pipeline.
Contact: Iain Andrews, firstname.lastname@example.org, +44(0)1604-586636
SOURCE West Northamptonshire Development Corporation