TWO young people who were unemployed have started new careers in the construction industry thanks to the Poundland Distribution Centre development in Harlow.
As part of the re-development of the former Pitney Bowes site, the developer, McLaren Construction and Poundland agreed, as part of the planning process, to create new employment opportunities for Harlow residents during both the construction phase and occupation of the building. Partnership work between the developer and Harlow Council has resulted in two local unemployed young people being employed by Mclaren.
Both young people had been unemployed for some time and McLaren took them on as General Operatives. McLaren saw potential in both of them and one is now in training to become a Logistics Manager and the other has gone on to become a trained Dumper Driver.
One of the young people, James Brandon from Harlow, said: “I was out of work up until Christmas when I approached Mclaren, they took me on and have put me through courses to give me the help I needed to start work in construction. With their help I feel like I’ve got a future career now which can only get better.”
David Murphy, Regional Managing Director of McLaren Construction said: “Our construction team, led by Peter Goodman as Project Manager on site, take great pride in adding possibilities to the local community which is a great benefit to this prestigious project.”
McLaren Construction understands the positive impact that engaging with a local supply chain can have: “Our scheme provides an opportunity to connect and integrate members of the community and boost the local economy.”
The company’s commitment to local employment is supported across all of its sites, extending to meet the buyer days, supply chain training and development, apprenticeship and internship schemes.
Harlow Council is leading a successful partnership including Jobcentre Plus and Harlow College to work with local developers to ensure that where jobs are created that local people are able to access them. The Council says it is essential that local people benefit from the growth of the Town and that it actively encourages all developers to engage with the partnership and assist it in promoting employment and job opportunities where possible.
Work with the developers and Poundland will continue, and the partnership is seeking to ensure that local people have access to the 400 new jobs that the distribution centre will eventually create.
Councillor Tony Durcan, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Enterprise, said: “As a result of the employment and training conditions contained within the Section 106 planning agreement for this development, two young people have been given opportunities and training which will hopefully lead to successful careers.
“I am hopeful that because of our partnership with Jobcentre Plus which has helped these two young people start new careers that the Poundland Distribution Centre will bring even more new opportunities for local people both now and in the future.”
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