EKC Group and Otterpool Park LLP have announced a new partnership that will boost skills in East Kent and ensure that education, employment and training for local people are at the heart of the Otterpool Park garden town development.
The announcement follows a decision by Folkestone & Hythe District Council’s Planning and Licensing Committee earlier this month (4 April) to grant outline planning permission for Otterpool Park, 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 agreement between Otterpool Park LLP and EKC Group will support the delivery of the new garden town by supporting housebuilders, contractors and their supply chains to meet their skills needs throughout the 25-year construction programme. It will also create opportunities for EKC Group students to engage with the development and promotion of Otterpool Park.
Graham Razey OBE, CEO of EKC Group said, “EKC Group is the biggest trainer of construction students in England and there are lots of young people who are going to want to have their employment locally.
"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.”
Signing the collaboration agreement, 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.”