Meet the residents helping to build Brighton’s newest neighbourhood

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101 Brighton residents have been offered full or part time roles on-site at the £120 million Edward Street Quarter development as part of an ongoing social value commitment to support the local community.  

All local employees, most of whom have no industry experience, will be eligible for an upskilling programme to gain formal construction qualifications such as NVQs. 

Due to complete in spring next year, the new destination located on Edward Street in central Brighton will comprise six new buildings to accommodate offices, retail, hospitality and leisure facilities as well as new homes. 

Florin Marcu, (34) and Charlie Sole (17) are just two of the local residents currently employed on-site. 

After losing his job as a taxi driver due to Covid-19, Florin spent 10 months out of work and living off his savings before being offered a role at Edward Street Quarter. He is now in his eighth month working on the development and after gaining his Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card he has been able to gain additional skills through contractor, McLaren’s, upskilling programme. 

He said, “I have been trained as a banksman, responsible for directing the cranes, and recently gained my telescopic handler operator card meaning I’m able to drive the reach forklifts. I’m hoping that in two years’ time I’ll be a qualified logistics manager – something I now feel is within reach.” 

Up until this summer, apprentice Charlie had been a student at the Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA). He was offered a five-week work placement on the Edward Street Quarter site as part of McLaren’s Schools Gateway Programme, which identifies young people for training, work experience and employment.

His hard work was rewarded when Price Building, the mechanical contractor onsite, offered him an apprenticeship which he started in September. He commented, “The work experience was amazing because I learned how the site operates and got to try out different roles and responsibilities. 

“Now, thanks to my apprenticeship, my course work seems much easier because I’m able to relate it back to the work that I carry out on-site. I’m currently completing my L2 plumbing diploma and am hoping to progress onto a plumbing apprenticeship in the future.” 

In its first full year of construction, Edward Street Quarter implemented over £9 million worth of benefits to the city through its social value action plan despite the challenges posed by Covid-19. 

Steve Eccles, Project Director at First Base, the developer for Edward Street Quarter, said: “The construction industry needs a steady supply of talented people who are supported and trained to reach their potential, and I am proud that the Edward Street Quarter project is contributing in this way. Construction is a wonderfully rewarding career choice for dedicated and talented people and we wish Florin and Charlie the best of luck with their ambitions.”

To find out more about training schemes and vacancies on the Edward Street Quarter site please contact simon@strivedevelopment.co.uk.