Construction of the Welsh Government's new creative industries centre at Porth Teigr is now well underway, and it is bringing more than just a creative hub to the area.
The centre, which is being developed by igloo and constructed by VINCI Construction UK for the Welsh Government, is also bringing opportunities to local people. Local resident Ali Abdi, 23 from Butetown, is working on the project as Trainee Construction Manager.
Ali graduated from the University of Glamorgan last summer where he studied Civil Engineering. He struggled to find work after graduating, but volunteered with VINCI Construction UK on the Butetown Community Centre project last year, working there for a day a week. He was then offered the chance to work on the centre for the creative industries at Porth Teigr, which is giving him a much-needed foot on the ladder in the construction industry.
Ali's work on the centre for the creative industries sees him getting involved in everything from health and safety through to quality, planning and programming. In particular, Ali focuses on the environmental aspects of the building work, ensuring that the team are meeting the standards of the Considerate Constructors Scheme, BREEAM, and igloo's FootprintR policy.
As well as providing employment, the construction project for the creative industries centre at Porth Teigr has started a series of work placement opportunities, with an impressive programme set out for the rest of the year.
The placements are offered by VINCI in conjunction with Bridgend College with the aim of giving potential future employees hands-on experience in the industry, and equipping them with the skills to make them desirable employees.
The first of these began on 2 April with two trainee carpenters on site for a fortnight through the Easter holidays, Ben Smart (18) and Josh Hackett (20). Both are studying carpentry and joinery at Bridgend College. This will be followed up throughout the year with more placements including plumbers and electricians.
Economy Minister Edwina Hart welcomed the news and said: "This illustrates the importance of investing in infrastructure - in this instance the construction is creating work, jobs and training opportunities while when completed the centre will be an economic asset, supporting the creative industries sector."
Mark Hallett, Development Director at igloo, responsible for the Porth Teigr scheme, says: "Igloo has an industry-leading sustainable investment policy, FootprintR, which guides all of our developments. As part of this, regeneration of the local community is a key element. We strive to deliver projects which make a positive contribution to the local economy, and providing employment to local people and skilling-up the local workforce is a really important part of this.
"In effect, by helping to develop the skills of the local area, we are strengthening the future economy of the area."
Paul Davies, Project Manager at VINCI Construction UK says: "In such a difficult economic climate, jobs, apprenticeships and work placement schemes really do make a difference. In Ali's case, they give a unique opportunity to see a construction project through from beginning to end.
"We fully embrace igloo's FootprintR policy and work closely with local colleges to be able to provide these opportunities."
Construction of the centre for the creative industries continues, with the building due to be available for occupation in Spring 2014.