Clare Burnett

Leeds LEP initiative injects £7 million into economy

The Leeds LEP’s employment and skills campaign, five three one, has hit the 300 member mark, and contributed an estimated £7 million to the regional economy.

The five three one scheme gives support through employment and skills specialists to enable businesses to develop and grow their workforce.

The initiative has reportedly generated new apprenticeships, work experience placements and job opportunities, and supports new businesses to launch in the region.

The 300th company to join five three one is Access North Structures based in Kirklees, a ETFE, tensile fabric design and rope access company operating throughout the UK and internationally.

Access North Structures’ founder and General Manager, Daniel Northcott, started his own career as an apprentice and now offers apprenticeship and work placement opportunities to young talent.

He said: “Hard work, entrepreneurship and discipline are at the core of being a tensile fabric rope access technician and during this apprenticeship the candidates learn very quickly how to organise themselves.

“Because of the ‘heights’ and amount of health and safety involved, technicians quickly discover how important team work and camaraderie is. It really is the perfect job for a young, motivated apprentice.

“I trained our first apprentice myself in a tree on a near-by farm. He has since passed his IRATA qualification and is well on his way to being a fully-fledged rope access technician.

“His understanding of our systems will be invaluable to him and to Access North Structures going forward.” Through five three one, Daniel also hopes to develop the skills of his staff, build links with education and mentor a budding entrepreneur and is looking forward to receiving the support to enable this to happen.

“As we grow, we aim to work closely with five three one to help drive our business in the right direction and keep our community employed. We are always on the lookout for local talent, especially in the ‘work at height’ trade as it is very niche and specialist.”

An organisation that has already received support from five three one is hcm Group, a Wakefield based multi-discipline construction company specialising in projects, interiors and facilities management.

Through challenging economic times, hcm Group has grown by employing the right staff and being able to train employees to ensure they have the right skills for their company. This has included taking on apprentices as part of five thee one.

Jason Adlam, Chief Executive for hcm Group said: “They listened to what we found challenging and we now not only have apprentices on site but also in Business and Administration which has given further support to our teams. We have been amazed by the talent of these young individuals, their enthusiasm and commitment has been brilliant.”

Roger Marsh, Chair of Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership said: “I am delighted that 300 companies have now benefitted from the LEP’s support through our five three one campaign.

“With an economic value of £7m, we can see the positive impact that enabling businesses to develop and grow their workforce has had on the regional economy. I urge more businesses to take advantage of this free initiative.”

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