New Cranbrook Community Hub launched by Lord Mayor of Exeter

12 March 2019

The Lord Mayor of Exeter marked the launch of a new Community & Skills Academy in Cranbrook aimed at promoting employment opportunities in the construction industry.

Leading regeneration specialist, Galliford Try Partnerships and the south west’s biggest housing provider, LiveWest, have joined forces to set up the Galliford Try Partnerships Skills Academy.

Councillor Rob Hannaford cut the ribbon as part of the celebration of an initiative designed to encourage long-term unemployed people back into work by offering work placements, training, full-time work and apprenticeships.

The academy has been established at the heart of the GT’s housing development in Cranbrook which will provide a ‘live’ site environment and host several Galliford Try Partnerships Skills Academy programmes during its lifecycle, becoming a Hub for the Exeter region.

The academy will be on site for three years and will take on a maximum of 15 members on each programme for between two and four weeks. It will also explore opportunities to work with the Prince’s Trust to provide further employment opportunities.

Focusing on people over the age of 18 and currently without employment, the academy will promote the opportunities that exist in the construction industry.

Galliford Try Partnerships and LiveWest are in talks with Exeter College over using the facility for existing students on their construction programme.

The partnership will also join forces with a number of other partners to deliver additional specialist training on site.

A prime driver of this project is to enable communities to prosper and thrive in the long term, providing a catalyst for economic growth. 

The focus is to give learners basic theoretical and practical training on a ‘live’ construction site, as well as work experience placements, site visits and careers advice.

With more than 160 different jobs available in construction, it is hoped that the academy can stimulate interest in working in the industry.

Andrew Johnston, Managing Director Galliford Try Partnerships South West, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Lord Mayor to officially open our new community and skills hub for Exeter.

“We are passionate about creating sustainable communities as well as addressing the industry skills shortage and our Community & Skills Academy Hub is the ideal platform to do so.

“We are investing heavily in employment and training via our unique Skills Academies - supporting talent, new and old, and introducing keen new applicants into the industry when they are needed most.”

Jewson, A-Plant and Fred Champion Groundworks have supported the academy by supplying the cabin and donating materials and tools.

LiveWest Community Investment and Engagement Manager Leanda Flower said: “We are committed to maximising the training and employment opportunities for local people and we look forward to seeing the results.

“It is great to be working in partnership with Galliford Try on helping people find out more about the construction industry.”

The Lord Mayor of Exeter, Councillor Rob Hannaford, added: “I’m really delighted to have officially launched the Skills Academy. This is a very important and exciting initiative for Cranbrook, Exeter and the wider Devon area.

“By focusing on getting people back to work, enhancing skills, and developing potential, it’s an innovative way towards achieving sustainable success in the construction industry.  

“The academy will provide a fantastic opportunity for local people not only to gain the necessary qualifications for a career in construction, but also to be supported into construction jobs once qualified. I hope that local residents take advantage of this fantastic new academy and community hub once it opens.”

The development in Cranbrook that plays home to the new Community Hub will see the creation of 180 new homes in the town, including 54 for affordable housing, 18 for social rent and 36 for shared ownership, with a further 18 homes classified as affordable by design.

The remainder will be delivered as a joint venture between LiveWest and Galliford Try Partnerships.