Britain’s largest trade union and FCC Construction, one of the world’s largest construction firms, have set out their support for a wide-ranging job creation, training and apprenticeship programme that will be hubbed at The Circuit of Wales – Wales’ largest privately funded infrastructure project and one of the country’s most significant capital investment programme.
Construction of the £425m development, which is timetabled to begin by early summer 2017, will employ 1,500 workers on-site during the Phase 1 construction process alone, with a further 800 benefiting from full time employment in the initial two-year phase of the project. 4,000 to 6,000 FTE person years of construction work will be provided during the construction phases, with significant employment opportunities for local communities and local contractors a priority for the project.
The Circuit of Wales will bring together a world-class motorsports track and facility, an international centre for leisure and entertainment, and a state-of-the-art innovation hub covering approximately 65,000sqm for light manufacturing, industrial and ancillary office use, which will transform 830 acres of the Blaenau Gwent area in South Wales.
The development will support the South Wales Valleys Region Task Force target of creating 10,000 jobs, with a socially responsible employment strategy focused on building skills through training programmes.
Andy Richards, Unite Wales Secretary, said:
“The Circuit of Wales project represents an important vote of confidence in Wales’ credentials as a prime location for investment. Unite welcomes The Circuit of Wales’ commitment to delivering a high-quality construction skills, training and apprenticeship programme that helps to future-proof the local economy and create a long-term job creation plan that supports the wider South Wales regional economy.”
Stephen Rickwood, UK & Ireland Commercial Director at FCC Construction said:
“FCC Construction fully supports The Circuit of Wales’ focus on developing a responsible employment strategy that not only ensures world-class delivery, but also builds a sustainable pipeline of talent within the local area, able to support the additional construction projects across the region that The Circuit of Wales is set to stimulate.
“The Circuit of Wales’ skills and training programme aligns with our own focus on embedding skills, training and high-quality employment and apprenticeship opportunities for local communities into the globally renowned construction projects that we deliver.”
The Circuit of Wales is set to create a Construction Skills Academy in partnership with CITB, seeking to engage 14-30 year olds and prepare local young people for work in the 21st century construction industry. A programme of activity will be conducted in partnership with local schools, community organisations and youth organisations, with the support from local authority teams.
The Academy will be accompanied by a high-quality apprenticeship scheme, delivered in partnership with the development’s leading international contractors, FCC and Roadbridge, and the local delivery partner, Alun Griffiths.
Further, The Circuit of Wales will see the creation of a technical academy – a joint venture between local further education colleges, a Welsh university and The Circuit of Wales; and a tailored course focused on providing electronics and internet protocol training to young people in the local community, creating an additional stream of talent to businesses basing their operations in the vicinity.
Martin Whitaker, Chief Executive of The Circuit of Wales, said:
“We warmly welcome the support of our colleagues in Unite the Union and look forward to working closely with FCC Construction and our local partners to kick start this transformational regeneration project. Our wide ranging job creation, construction skills and training plan will deliver significant benefits for communities across Wales, Blaenau Gwent and Ebbw Vale, and provide a major boost to the Welsh economy.”