Authorities preparing a Community Infrastructure Levy have a timely opportunity to help tackle youth unemployment, according to a government regeneration body.
West Northamptonshire Development Corporation has just published a revised version of its Planning Obligations Strategy. It is believed to be the first strategy in the UK to have a formal link with a training and apprenticeships provider – an approach which could be mirrored in Community Infrastructure Levy schemes nationwide.
WNDC’s Planning Director Adrian Arnold explained: “Although it is not a new idea to secure construction apprenticeships through the planning process, authorities have struggled to turn policy into action.
“We use a new service which makes construction apprenticeships a legal requirement on local developments, and has links with nearby colleges who provide trainees. It’s been a real success story and other planning authorities are interested in the approach, especially as it can be enshrined in the Community Infrastructure Levy.”
The integrated system is managed by a ground-breaking scheme called Construction Futures. They support negotiations with planning applicants and handle the supply process. This ranges from liaising with developers to understand their requirements to sourcing and monitoring trainees from local colleges.
Paul Quinn from Construction Futures said: “With local authorities across the country preparing CIL proposals, there’s a real opportunity to change how the construction industry thinks about training and recruitment. We have developed the legal tools and systems that make forecasting, agreeing and delivering apprenticeships possible. We’ve already delivered over 100 training placements and apprenticeships in Northamptonshire and have many more in the pipeline.”
Construction Futures is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. A series of free seminars about the scheme is being held for local authorities in the East Midlands throughout November. For more details please visit Free Construction Futures Seminars.