New Norwich homes scheme hailed for getting people into work

A scheme which will see hundreds of new homes built around Norwich has been hailed for also helping to get people into work.

Bosses at Norwich City Council say the authority's partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) means not just new homes. but also new jobs.

The council last year agreed a deal with the government housing agency which meant the HCA pumped �8m into the city and the council provided a string of sites for new homes around Norwich.

Contractors working on the programme have to ensure 10pc of their workforce are new to the labour market.

Work on 100 homes on former garage sites around the city has begun and yesterday, apprentices who have found work through the scheme, met the leader of Norwich City Council on the site of one of the developments, Bates Green in North Earlham. Council leader Brenda Arthur was joined by tenant liaison and administrator Maxine Williamson, 42, apprentice site manager Adam Beale, 24, maintenance apprentice Ashley Marshall, 18, and site carpenter, Leeroi Smith, 19. Before the four were recruited, Adam and Leeroi were both unemployed, having just finished the Future Job Fund at Norwich- based Construction Training Specialists.

Ashley had just completed a construction course at the St Edmunds' Society and Maxine was working on a voluntary basis after being made redundant at the end of the year.

Ms Arthur said: 'Norwich needs more homes and people need employment. This scheme offers the best of both worlds. Through the groundbreaking partnership with the HCA we have the chance to build good quality homes that people can afford to live in, while at the same time providing apprenticeships.'

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