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MP Backs Training Project

Wednesday 11th July 2012 (Andrew Griffiths)

SUPPORT is growing for Trent & Dove Housing’s innovative self-build scheme, as local MP Andrew Griffiths gives his backing to the initiative which aims to offer local people paid work while they train towards a building trades qualification.

At the same time they will be building a home that they have a chance to rent or partown, with an added incentive of a possible job within the construction trade at the end. The scheme, which is a variation of the Government’s highly vaunted self-build policy, could be rolled out nationally as it is seen as having the potential to contribute towards key Government strategies.

The initiative has been welcomed by Mr Griffiths, who said: “The Government is keen to encourage self-build schemes as they can be hugely rewarding and in many cases completely transformthe selfbuilders’ lives. “However, self-build schemes are notoriously difficult to manage successfully for a variety of reasons. “Trent & Dove’s ‘learn it, build it, live it’ self-build model links local people to paid training, employment and a house at the end of the process. The fact that Trent & Dove will be using local SME builder, Harvey & Clark, will bring further benefits for the local economy and I applaud them for their innovative approach.”

The scheme, which has grown from an idea within Trent & Dove, reflects the local focus the housing company has in relation to the area. Working in partnership with Burton and South Derbyshire College and local building

contractor Harvey & Clark, it brings together local expertise that can have a positive impact upon the lives of young people and those who are looking to re-skill or gain formal qualifications, by offering them work and the possibility of a new home that they have been involved in building.

The new initiative will offer unemployed people the chance of paid employment with Harvey & Clark Ltd, training on an apprenticeship through the college and the added potential of gaining a percentage towards a new home supported by Trent & Dove Housing Ltd. “The successful apprentices will train in basic organisational and trade skills, which will be required on the project and complete their apprenticeship training through the college. This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of an innovative self-build project.”

Trent & Dove believes that their pilot variation on self-build can potentially increase the number of self-build schemes,reduce unemployment and include a recognised trade qualification. Such are the possibilities of the project, Trent & Dove has secured grant funding from the government’s Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), through the Affordable Homes Programme, of which part of this has been earmarked for a fourunit self-build scheme in Burton. The HCA in theMidlands will be keeping a close eye on progress made in Burton with a view to sharing best practice with their teams across the country.

Steve Grocock, director of property services at Trent & Dove Housing, explained: “Self-build projects can have fantastic outcomes, by increasingconfidence and giving a sense of achievement. In some cases self-builders have gone on to set up their own businesses. “I am delighted that we have been able to put East Staffordshire in the spotlight for its innovative approach to partnership working in relation to key Government strategies.”

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