WORCESTER’S growing new homes sector is to provide extra opportunities for the local labour market while encouraging apprentices and more women to join the construction industry.

The City Council has reached an agreement with Bloor Homes, one of largest privately owned housebuilders in the UK and a keen supporter of women in construction, to ensure its developments create new jobs for workers from the area.

The local authority is now applying economic benefit conditions to major planning applications, such as job creation and provision of apprenticeship opportunities.

Bloor is currently building 175 new houses at The Grove on Oak View Way off Bromyard Road with more sites projected over the next 20 years and a long-term partnership arrangement has been agreed with the council to open up employment and sub-contracting opportunities.

Cllr Adrian Gregson, the deputy leader of the City Council and vice-chair of its place and economic sub committee, said: “We are pleased to be working with Bloor Homes to address the local construction skills shortage and to deliver real career opportunities for young people in this fast-growing sector.”

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Nick Rawlings, regional planning director for Bloor Homes Western, added: “With the number of jobs in construction likely to increase, we need to invest in our workforce and attract and retain new talent to the sector.

"Apprenticeships are a valuable route to develop new talent and build the workforce of the future and we are proud to be providing opportunities for young people in Worcester through our partnership with Worcester City Council.

“Bloor Homes is also a proud supporter of women in construction and we want to raise awareness of the variety of roles available in the industry and inspire others to consider the sector as a viable and worthwhile career option.”

Last month, Bloor Homes held a dress-down day at its regional head office in Tewkesbury and its new housing development, The Grove at Worcester in aid of five-year old, Oscar Saxelby-Lee.

Staff at both sites were invited to come into work in dress-down clothes, in return for a donation towards Oscar’s fundraising appeal.

£100 was raised.