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Calderdale develops regeneration ‘talent pool’

Calderdale Council has launched a programme to develop a ‘talent pool’ to help it deliver future regeneration projects.

The local authority said it has ‘struggled’ in recent years to recruit staff with the required skills to deliver these major projects, particularly within the regeneration, construction and civil engineering disciplines.

In order to address this, the Council launched the ‘Grow Our Own’ programme – a talent pool to support Calderdale in the delivery of Calderdale’s Next Chapter, a portfolio of transformational regeneration projects.

In September 2018, five council employees from a variety of backgrounds joined the programme to develop their skills and support the projects, whilst learning from experienced mentors.

The team take a day a week to study project management, whilst applying their new skills to their roles at the council.

The initial group will finish their apprenticeship in March 2020, when they will have achieved an Association for Project Management (APM) Level 4, Associate Project Management qualification. This will give them the knowledge and experience needed to pursue a career in project management.

‘Calderdale Council might be one of the smallest authorities in West Yorkshire, but we have never shied away from doing big things,’ said cabinet member for regeneration and resources, Cllr Jane Scullion.

‘As we continue to design and deliver the many major regeneration projects as part of Calderdale’s Next Chapter work, it’s important we have the staff with the knowledge and capabilities to make these schemes a successful reality.

‘The Grow Our Own programme is a chance to develop our staff, streamlining our recruitment process and ensuring we can make the most of the many investment opportunities available to Calderdale at this exciting time.’

Two members of the Grow Our Own team have already been successful in moving into project management roles. One of these success stories is Hollie Good, who moved from her role as retail and market towns officer to become project manager for the South East Calderdale regeneration programme.

‘I began the Grow Our Own training with a minimal amount of project management experience. Since taking part in the programme I’ve learnt so much about the principles of project management,’ said Ms Good.

‘This has included learning about different methods of construction and the importance of health and safety on site. I’ve also been able to witness first-hand how this knowledge is put into practice with regular visits to the Northgate House site.’

Photo by Jarmoluk (Pixabay)

Jamie Hailstone
Senior reporter - NewStart

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