Headlines: September 3rd, 2007

Ten young people from Manchester have won places on a new modern apprenticeship scheme that will see them working on a major regeneration project in the east of the city. The 10, aged from 16 to 21, will join a scheme set up by the Renaissance Consortium with the support of New East Manchester, Skills Solutions and MANCAT.Initially they have been given two-year contracts with the housebuilders, Lovell or Adactus Housing Association. They will specialise in particular trades such as plumbing or plastering or train in a number of disciplines to become multi skilled. They will all work on the redevelopment of Miles Platting, a Private Finance Initiative scheme to transform a 264 acre area two miles east of the city centre.The redevelopment is being undertaken by the Renaissance Consortium, a partnership between national affordable housing provider Lovell, Adactus Housing Association and Investors in the Community. Renaissance signed a 30-year PFI contract with Manchester City Council in March and the five-year refurbishment programme will include include improvements to 1,520 council houses and flats. Adactus also started a 30-year management and maintenance programme for the properties for the city council. The regeneration will also see the building of more than 1,000 new family houses and apartments.

Tom Russell, chief executive of New East Manchester, said, “We have been working closely with Renaissance to create opportunities for local people in the construction industry and housing maintenance and management. This is a fantastic initiative but only the start. By working together on recruitment we had a tremendous response from local people with over 160 enquiries and the standard of applicants was excellent.”

The consortium will have a rolling programme of pprenticeships over the next 30 years as part of the management and maintenance programme.