The vision is still to deliver thousands of jobs at Omega when it is fully developed.
A commitment to local employment
Omega is now a significant part of the local community and local job opportunities are an important part of OWL’s commitment to Warrington. With this in mind, OWL and Warrington Borough Council have entered into a ‘Local Employment Agreement’.
This sets targets for OWL along with its construction contractors, and eventual on-site businesses, to deliver contracts, jobs, apprenticeships, school involvement and other initiatives for local people. These targets are conditions attached to each planning application that comes forward.
The Local Employment Agreement ensures that:
- local businesses are able to bid for tender opportunities (subcontracting and supply chain)
- local businesses are able to apply to join preferred lists for other ongoing work
- new vacancies are offered as job and apprenticeship opportunities for local people
- opportunities are to be available for unemployed people including young people not in education, employment or training (NEET)
- work experience placements are offered for pupils, students and unemployed people
- local schools are invited for site visits or presentations at local schools
These requirements are passed on to main contractors and incoming tenants of the new buildings.
Skills, education & training opportunities
To allow those with less experience to be successful at job interviews, there is also training and skills support to get people ready for jobs on Omega.
The ‘Training Provider Network’ has been set up to provide support programmes to help local unemployed people into jobs and includes Warrington Borough Council (as chair), Job Centre Plus, Work Programme Providers and Warrington Collegiate as members of the network. The network will organise open days, identify suitable candidates, design and run pre-recruitment training courses in collaboration with the employers, and arrange interviews.
For example, for Brakes, training requirements were identified at the start of the negotiations and included a 2 week bespoke training programme for all candidates who were to be interviewed as follows:
- Week 1 – classroom based training: Introduction to warehousing; general health and safety; interview skills and techniques; and basic literacy and numeracy
- Week 2 – 2 days based at a local company Linde to undergo and qualify for a FLT Licence.
Training varies accordingly to the needs of the recruiting company and the Training Provider Network partnership offers a whole range of skills education and training opportunities.
What jobs will be available?
The jobs being created over the next couple of years will provide a range of opportunities from management and office work, through to highly technical engineering or IT jobs in logistics and on to warehouse operations, vehicle maintenance, catering, driving and cleaning.
The amount of office space needed by the logistics occupiers within their premises will be significant so jobs provided will certainly provide opportunities for a range of skills – and this will be on top of the significant office space still planned for Omega South.
Looking for a job?
Details of forthcoming recruitment drives will be publicised as they become available in the local press, on social media and at jobs’ fairs and careers events.
Jobcentre Plus, Work Programme Providers and Warrington Collegiate will also have details of all events so if you are looking for work, it would be useful to register with these relevant local agencies which may have arrangements with local firms securing subcontracting work.
In addition, tenants on Omega will also have information about job opportunities on their websites:
Opportunities for construction contractors
To support the local opportunities agenda, Warrington & Co, the town’s urban regeneration partnership, hold ‘Meet the Buyers, Construction Industry’ events where contractors, subcontractors and suppliers in the area can find out more about future opportunities for the construction sector in Warrington and on Omega.
The events have allowed Warrington & Co to develop a local contractors register to help marry local businesses to contract opportunities. The overwhelming success of these sessions mean that further events for construction and other sectors are being planned for the future.
Are you a business looking for contracts?
If you are a business local to Warrington who provides a service or supplies to the construction industry, you can apply for your company to be included on the Local Contractor’s Register. Download the form here and return to the address provided. You will then be kept informed of any future Meet the Buyer events organised by Warrington & Co for the Council, along with any other information relating to tender opportunities for forthcoming developments. For more information contact Angela Hankey, Warrington Borough Council, on 01925 442371.
Success to date
OWL and Warrington Borough Council regularly review information provided in relation to job opportunities and training provided for infrastructure works plus the construction of buildings for Omega’s occupiers. The latest update shows that across all these contracts, tenders worth over £37 million have been awarded to businesses within a 25 miles radius of Omega; 42 of these, worth almost £8 million, have been awarded to Warrington businesses.
Jo Jackson, Employment Development Manager at Warrington Borough Council said:
“So far, the total construction spend within Warrington and a 25 miles radius comes in at 26%, which for large scale construction projects is not bad. However we will continue to strive, not just to hit our local employment targets for Omega, but to beat them.”
The team is committed to focussing, in 2016, on increasing opportunities for school visits and education, plus training and opportunities for NEETS (those Not in Employment, Education or Training).
For more information on any of the above, please contact:
Employment Development Manager
Warrington Borough Council
Tel: 01925 442635