The construction and infrastructure company, Morgan Sindall, has welcomed two pre-apprentices to the £1 billion Paddington Village site and is also boosting the skills of its existing team.

The students – Mark Sloan (17) and Adam Hughes (19) are both undertaking ten week work experience placements with Morgan Sindall, gaining valuable experience on part of the landmark extension to the city’s Knowledge Quarter for Liverpool City Council.

Existing Morgan Sindall team members are also developing their skills. Danny Cocker, a key operative, and the first person to be directly employed on the site, has enrolled on a management apprenticeship to boost his skills.

Danny, who lives on the Wirral and is helping to prepare the Paddington Village site during this important first phase of work, will be undertaking an ILM NVQ Level 3 qualification in leadership and management practice.

Mark and Adam come from Toxteth and Allerton respectively and are on a Traineeship programme at Blackburne House in Liverpool. The work placement will form an essential part of this employability programme. The ultimate aim is to get both into jobs or apprenticeships with Morgan Sindall or one of their subcontractors.

Both young men have taken part in similar schemes in the past, but there haven’t been any real opportunities for them to work towards. The Traineeship programme at Blackburne House, working in close partnership with Morgan Sindall, gives these young men a real chance and a ‘foot in the door’ with a major employer who is offering these opportunities to local unemployed people.

Morgan Sindall now has a team of 16 people working on the site. Apart from the specialist trades, the majority of the team come from the Merseyside area.

Barry Roberts, area director for Morgan Sindall in the North West, said: “It’s fantastic to have Mark and Adam joining us on site at Paddington Village, and always brilliant to see people like Danny with enthusiasm, talent and ambition making the most of opportunities to advance their careers and grow their skillsets.  This is a very exciting project and one that will have a major impact on the Liverpool City Region, so it’s a great place to learn and grow in experience.

“Developing the skills of our existing team members and helping young people to explore the industry and the great opportunities it offers is something Morgan Sindall and our partners are passionate about. We are committed to doing all we can to promote construction as the great, professional industry with brilliant career prospects that it is.”

The Paddington Village project was procured through the North West Construction Hub framework and is part of Liverpool City Council’s vision to build on the city’s thriving life science sector, attracting investment, creating knowledge-intensive jobs and cementing the city region as an international destination of significance for the life-science, healthcare and technology industries.

The scheme, which sits within one of the city’s Mayoral Development Zones, will see the 30-acre site, located just to the east of the city centre, developed into three plots; Paddington North, Paddington Central and Paddington South.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Paddington Village is going to transform Liverpool’s knowledge based economy and I’m delighted at the progress that is already being made on site by Morgan Sindall.

 “The next 12 months will see a huge amount of activity and it’s very pleasing to see young local apprentices like Mark and Adam learn their trade on such a vital project which will eventually create thousands of new jobs.”

Morgan Sindall’s is carrying out two distinct projects on the central plot. The first phase of work, worth around £12 million, is now underway and involves the installation of infrastructure, creation of public realm across the predominantly brownfield site and the creation of development plots to make them market-ready.

The second phase will see Morgan Sindall design and build a new £35 million ‘Northern Centre of Excellence’ for the Royal College of Physicians (RCP). RCP is expected to submit a planning application in early 2018 and plans to take almost half of the available 140,000 sq ft state-of-the-art space, and work with Liverpool City Council to find other associated institutions and life science businesses to let the remainder.

Liverpool City Council is also preparing to enter into a design, build, maintenance and servicing contract to create a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant to provide a sustainable heating and power source to service buildings and businesses on the site.