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Interserve’s latest site positively impacts over 50 locals’ lives

28th October 2020

Y Prentis has been working in partnership with construction contractor Interserve to deliver community benefits within the locality of their newest completed site at Torfaen Learning Zone.

About the development

Torfaen Learning Zone has been developed by Interserve, on behalf of Coleg Gwent and Torfaen Council, in Cwmbran. The project was part of the 21st Century Schools and Education Programme and procured within the SEWSCAP 2 Framework. The £24 million project will be the new home of learning for those over the age of 16 within the Torfaen borough. Providing a four-storey training facility, including: two atriums, performance and social spaces, extendable classrooms with moveable walls and even an enclosed roof garden for students to enjoy.

Benefitting the local community

As outlined within the SWESCAP 2 framework, Torfaen Learning Zone has allowed for sustainable benefits to those living in the locality of the college, through: work placements, apprenticeships, recruitment of local residents and engaging with these residents throughout the project. During the development of the project, Y Prentis has worked with a range of stakeholders including: Torfaen County Borough County, Coleg Gwent, SEWSCAP Skills Academy, local training providers, educational establishments and welfare to work agents.

As well as creating over thirty new full-time opportunities, the project has provided eleven work experience placements to young people from local comprehensive schools and colleges, who are looking to start their career in construction. Three work placements have been undertaken by long-term unemployed local residents, who were looking to retrain within construction, as well as providing vital experience for three graduates who have recently completed their qualifications.  The Learning Zone has provided a total of twenty-four apprenticeships throughout its two-year build, in a large variety of traditional and technical trades.

Interserve have engaged with the public throughout the project, allowing the community to keep up to date with all developments. Local schools and colleges have had the opportunity to tour the site, as well undertake taster days. Interserve have also held assembly talks and attended open days throughout the borough, to engage with learners who will be using the facility in the future, as well as answer any questions they may have on careers in construction.

Lucy Davies – CSR Manager says "At Interserve we strive to make a sustainable difference within the communities we work in, we believe that by giving local people the right opportunity’s and support it allows them to realise their goals and work towards accomplishing great things. Through collaborative working with both YPrentis and local stakeholders this contract enabled us to exceed our original targets and boost the local economy, providing tangible social value from start to finish’

Now complete, Torfaen Learning Zone will open to students of Coleg Gwent in January 2021.