WNDC programme shortlisted for national award

From: West Northamptonshire Development Corporation
Published: Wed Mar 03 2010

A construction skills programme created by West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC) has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

Construction Futures, which has already been implemented on two building sites in Daventry, has been shortlisted in the Community category of the 2010 Sustain Magazine Awards. WNDC is one of six shortlisted companies, with the final winner revealed at an awards ceremony in London next Tuesday, March 2. Other shortlisted organisations include CEN, Chevin Housing Group, Kier Sheffield, Kingspan Insulation and Kingston University.

Construction Futures is the first of its kind in the UK. It links construction skills and training directly to the planning system, providing training to local students on projects which have been given consent in their area. Not only does Construction Futures address skills shortages, it provides jobs for the local community, and these jobs are sustainable as they will lead to careers which will last a lifetime.

The programme involves each sizeable planning application being assessed in terms of the skills that will be required to construct it. These are compared to the skills available locally and any deficiencies identified, with the subsequent "S106" community contribution from the developer being spent to train people to fill that skills gap. The scheme complements the GovernmentÂ’s commitment to use its unique purchasing power to promote skills training and apprenticeship places in construction through public procurement.

WNDC has worked in partnership with Northamptonshire Enterprise Limited (NEL), Moulton College, and ConstructionSkills (formerly CITB) to develop Construction Futures.

Peter Mawson, WNDC chief executive, said: "Construction Futures provides training to local people on projects in Northamptonshire. The way it links training to the planning system is certainly innovative, and is a step towards creating a more transparent planning system.

"It also ensures local communities receive direct benefits from building projects in their area, placing its young people at the heart of regeneration."

Heather Payne at NEL, who manages the Construction Futures contract with WNDC, said: "With substantial housing and jobs growth planned for Northamptonshire, Construction Futures is an important vehicle that ensures the county invests in its young people to bring long term benefits of skills and jobs to the local economy."

Sustain magazine is the UKÂ’s leading publication on sustainability, and 2010 is the second year it has run its awards. More than 1,000 guests are expected at the awards dinner at the Chelsea FC Conference Centre next Tuesday, March 2.

Editors Notes

WNDC was established in 2004, and was granted planning powers (development control) in April 2006. The statutory powers and objectives of Urban Development Corporations (UDCs) such as the WNDC are set out in section 136 of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980. A UDCÂ’s objective is to secure the regeneration of its area. This is to be achieved in particular through:

 bringing land and buildings into effective use;
 encouraging the development of existing and new industry and commerce;
 creating an attractive environment; and
 ensuring that housing and social facilities are available to encourage people to live and work in the area.
For the purpose of achieving the regeneration of its area, the WNDC may:
 acquire, hold, manage, reclaim and dispose of land and other property;
 carry out buildings and other operations;
 seek to ensure the provision of water, electricity, gas, sewerage and other services;
 carry on any business or undertaking for the purposes of regenerating its area; and
 generally do anything necessary or expedient for this purpose, or for purposes incidental to those purposes.
Media Enquiries: Iain Andrews on 01604 586636, iain.andrews@wndc.org.uk or Michael Hardware on 020 7939 7989, meh@chelgate.com
Public Enquiries: 01604 586600
WNDC website: www.wndc.org.uk
Company: West Northamptonshire Development Corporation
Contact Name: Michael Hardware, Chelgate PR
Contact Email: meh@chelgate.com
Contact Phone: 020 7939 7989 or 07775 925 274

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