Construction skills campus opens at major development site

Property investment and development business, CEG, has opened a Forging Futures Campus at its Kirkstall Forge development to deliver skills, training and education projects in Leeds.

CEG and Wates Construction launched the first campus in 2017, working with Leeds College of Building and Leeds City Council.

It has helped to train the city’s future architects, bricklayers, civil engineers, joiners, plumbers and electricians.

As a result of its success, the new campus has now opened providing expanded classrooms and facilities as well as a safe, live construction area which will help to enable site visits, curriculum projects and hands-on mentoring support.

At the launch event for the new campus, the latest cohort of young people to graduate from Forging Futures’ Employability Skills Course, which is delivered in conjunction with Icon Group and SCL, were presented with their certificates by Leeds Lord Mayor Councillor Bob Gettings.

The regular Employability Skills Courses helps young people not in education, employment or training learn new skills, build confidence and identify routes to training and employment.

Almost 150 young people who were unemployed, or not in school or vocational training have now completed the course, with many moving into apprenticeships, jobs or further education.

A further 450 participants have benefited from the curriculum delivery, site visits, workplace engagement, CV workshops and mock interviews in partnership with several Leeds schools, colleges and universities.

The Forging Futures Campus is within the construction area of the Kirkstall Forge development site.

Alongside the campus, a base has been provided for the River Stewardship Company which provides watercourse maintenance and improvement projects throughout Yorkshire.

Peter Marsden, from the River Stewardship Company, said: “It gives us a chance to be involved with the family of companies associated with the campus and enables us to promote the environment together with the enhancing of waterways in Yorkshire.

“We are looking forward to collaboratively working with the Forging Futures campus and creating a safe haven for the tuition of students in the area.”

David Wingfield, regional director for the Northeast at Wates Construction, said: Following the success of the first pioneering Forging Futures Campus in 2017, we’re proud to support the development of a second campus, allowing even more graduates and young people access to modern facilities where they can gain employability skills that will serve them long into the future.

“Wates is committed to ensuring the project continues to create benefits for the people of Kirkstall and Leeds.”

Lucinda Yeadon, community liaison manager at CEG, added: “We’re passionate about providing long-term benefits to the local community, and Forging Futures Campus has proved an incredibly successful way to deliver new skills, training and job opportunities.

“We’re so proud of those who have taken part and have seen such a positive impact on their lives.

“The investment into the new, larger campus will ensure we can continue to deliver our social value aspirations and help young people better access the jobs market.”