New collaboration agreement will boost training and employment in East Kent
The agreement will support education, employment and training opportunities for local people, as part of the Otterpool Park development.
The proposed garden town will provide green space, homes, schools and workspaces, set around the historic Westenhanger Castle.
Earlier this month (4 April), Folkestone and Hythe District Council’s Planning and Licensing Committee granted outline planning permission for the development, giving the green light for the next stage of the project.
Otterpool Park LLP is progressing detailed plans for phase one of the new garden town, with a view to starting work on site by the end of the year.
The collaboration between Otterpool Park LLP and EKC Group will support housebuilders, contractors and their supply chains to meet their skills needs throughout the project’s 25-year construction programme. It will also create opportunities for EKC Group students to engage with the development and promotion of Otterpool Park.
Andy Jarrett, managing director of Otterpool Park LLP, said: “10,000 homes will be built here over 25 years and it’s very important to ensure that skills are available when we need them, both for ourselves as the master developer and for our partners.
“As a sustainable garden town, we place a strong emphasis not just on the delivery of new homes and facilities but on providing opportunities for education, employment and training.
“EKC Group has an excellent reputation for construction skills training and the partnership will also help us to engage with local people, and we will be creating, in addition to construction skills, 9,000 long-term jobs.
“Together with EKC Group we will seek to work with a whole range of third parties that can benefit through this type of cooperation.”
Graham Razey, CEO of EKC Group, added: “Otterpool Park will have a huge build programme and there is a real opportunity within the construction phase for young people in Folkestone to take a stake in what is happening in their locality and ensure that the garden town is in line with the aspirations and hopes of young people in the area.
“Partnerships such as this, between education and industry, demonstrate both to our young people and to our communities that we can work hand in hand to create better futures. Our students will have the opportunity to look at future industry practices and train in the skills that enable them to be able to secure opportunities when they finish their studies.”