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Walkie Talkie developers join local recruitment drive

The City of London is working with high-profile developers in the capital’s financial district - including Land Securities and British Land - to recruit over 600 local residents on building sites over the next year.

The Corporation’s local recruitment initiative partners with firms operating in the Square Mile to devise ways to promote local recruitment.

Estimates forecast that over 600 workers will be recruited through the drive, which has been running for just over a year.

The Corporation’s chairman of the policy and resources committee, Mark Boleat, said maximising employment and business opportunities were at “the heart of what we do” to help those living near the Square Mile.

“Local people have the right to benefit from the local reinvigorated construction industry, and the construction industry benefits from the wealth of skills and talent on our doorstep.”

Eight developments have so far committed to boosting local employment, estimated to deliver 500 new jobs in the area.

British Land and Blackstone’s 1m square foot 5 Broadgate development, for banking group UBS, has seen 41 local people go into work and 34 into training.

Michael Delsol, a trainee mechanical and electrical engineer, has been working since September 2012 with Mace Sustain.

He said: “I didn’t realise how much construction work is going on just down the road from where I live, but it’s thrilling being a part of it and seeing so many buildings going up around me.”

“I definitely want to stay located in the City if I can – working around so many impressive buildings is really inspirational.”

The Walkie Talkie development, being built by a JV between Land Sec and Canary Wharf Group, has seen 69 locals trained and 29 local jobs created.

Land Sec head of development Colette O’Shea said: “Within the industry there is recognition of the benefits of recruiting locally.”

“Local knowledge is really invaluable when it comes to making a project run swiftly and smoothly, and it has ensured the joint venture development at 20 Fenchurch Street makes a contribution to the local community and economy.”

The City of London also operates a Local Procurement Charter for City developers, encouraging firms to procure 10 per cent of their project spend from local SMEs.

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