Report highlights community benefits of Glasgow City Deal contracts

Report highlights community benefits of Glasgow City Deal contracts

Apprentice Cameron Laidlaw at the Barrhead High building site

Glasgow City Region’s City Deal is delivering a number of high-profile infrastructure projects that are changing the areas physical landscape - including new roads, bridges and cycle routes to improve connectivity and access to work, as well as extensive remediation works which have underpinned all three of the Region’s three new Innovation Districts.

But the Deal is also set to bring vital social and economic benefits to thousands of local young people, residents, communities and businesses over its lifetime through the many contract opportunities for local businesses and from the specific requirement set by the Region for City Deal contractors to provide jobs, work experience, training and support for qualifications for targeted groups and young people. In fact, over 1,500 local young people, communities and businesses have already benefitted.

So far local people have benefitted from 330 employment opportunities through the Region’s City Deal.

And hundreds of local young people are continuing to benefit from apprenticeship and new entrant positions, providing a vital start to their career. Figures to date show that City Deal contractors have delivered 80 Apprenticeships and 226 New Entrant positions as part of community benefits requirements written into their contracts.

Apprenticeships, mostly filled by young people, allow you to earn a wage and gain an industry-recognised qualification at the same time, usually through attending college or university. New entrant jobs apply to priority groups including for example roles for unemployed people, lone parents, people with disabilities and women returning to work.

Councillor Susan Aitken, chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet and leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow’s City Deal continues to benefit local people, communities and businesses, bringing jobs, training, employment and contract opportunities.

“It’s great to see hundreds of young people getting a start in their working lives with the City Deal Apprenticeship and employment opportunities.

“Investing in skills and employment is an investment in the Region’s future, helping create a more competitive, inclusive, and productive economy while at the same time supporting people and communities.

“That’s why the Region is progressing work to ensure we’ve a skills system which is fit for the future. It’s critical that we have the skills which meet the needs of local businesses and emerging sectors and give citizens the best chance to secure jobs and progress their careers.”

Additionally, businesses delivering City Deal contracts have provided more than 287 work experience placements and supported more than 193 people to gain a vocational training qualification.

Over 570 targeted skills and training opportunities have also been delivered by contractors. This includes activities such as mentoring, work experience and placements, workplace visits and talks in schools. Much of this involves early engagement with young people for a pathway towards an apprenticeship including opportunities to gain work experience whilst still at school.

Cabinet secretary for wellbeing economy, net zero and energy Màiri McAllan said: “I warmly welcome the creation of more than 300 apprenticeships and new entrant jobs. This clearly demonstrates the impact of the Glasgow City Region City Deal in supporting local people with jobs and opportunities.

“Hundreds of skills and training opportunities like mentoring and work experience are also helping to put young people on a pathway towards an apprenticeship.

“I’m proud that the Scottish Government’s £500 million investment in this Deal is helping create a growing economy with fairness at its heart.”

In terms of business opportunities, local companies have won over £150m worth of Tier One City Deal contracts which is 57% of all Tier 1 contracts, £54.5m of which has been awarded to local SMEs. This equates to over 130 local companies winning over 272 of the City Deal contracts.

UK Government minister for Scotland John Lamont said: “It is fitting in Scottish Apprenticeship Week to celebrate just how many local people are directly benefiting from employment opportunities the Glasgow City Region Deal has created.

“The UK Government is investing £523m in the deal, supporting the creation of these new jobs and levelling up its communities. In total, the UK Government is investing more £2.9 billion to level up and support growth in every part of Scotland.”

Businesses winning City Deal contracts from each of the eight Glasgow City Region councils are also asked to offer a range of community engagement benefits. In fact, the past year has seen a significant increase in community-based projects supported by businesses with a City Deal contract. So far there have been over 200 community project opportunities supported, of which 157 are already delivered or underway.

This includes support from contractors for communities around construction sites. For example, staff from Story Contracting, the contractor for the West Coast Mainline project for North Lanarkshire Council, dedicated 20 hours volunteering for the Simon Community doing garden maintenance, painting and a tidy up.

The Simon Community was also supported by Hawkins Brown Design, contractor on Glasgow’s Custom House project, with site surveys, design proposals and brief developed for a vacant unit which will be used by the charity as a future community space.

Glasgow City Region is currently working to develop a new Community Wish List website which will bring together for the first time local communities and businesses delivering council contracts across most of the eight council areas, allowing community groups to make specific asks online for help or resources which suppliers can view and deliver. 

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