Integrated Health Projects (IHP), the joint venture between VINCI Building and Sir Robert McAlpine, have teamed up with Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH), Manchester City Council and the Skills Construction Centre, to open a new ‘Community Skills Centre’ for North Manchester.
The centre, which officially opened on 12 September 2023, is situated on the construction site of GMMH’s new £105m adult mental health inpatient unit, North View, to replace Park House on the North Manchester General Hospital (NMGH) site.
The hands-on skills centre will support residents aged 16-24 who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs) to gain new skills and experience for employment and will help close the future construction skills gap.
It will provide local people furthest away from the labour market the opportunity to gain a Level 1 Award in a construction trade of their choice, alongside basic digital, maths and English skills, a CV, Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) Card, and a minimum of 70 hours practical work experience on the new build of GMMH’s North View adult mental health unit.
Each ‘Trade Cohort’ delivered through the centre will support 15 trainees. A second cohort which will focus on training for basic DIY Skills and digital skills for to the community is planned, which will allow people to save money and be online efficient.
Danielle Doherty, VINCI Building’s Social Value Manager, said:
“Teaming up with Skills Construction Centre allows us to provide a very different training environment from mainstream education providers, which is so important as many NEETs have struggled or have previously been excluded from school and would not thrive in a traditional college setting.
“We understand the barriers some young people face getting into employment and believe everyone should be provided with the opportunity to showcase their best qualities away from the traditional interview. Providing training and a minimum of 70 hours work experience allows candidates to gain confidence and showcase their work ethic away from an otherwise stressful setting."
Marc Reed, Associate Director of Capital, Estates and Facilities at GMMH, said:
“We are delighted to be partnering with IHP to provide training and work experience opportunities to North Manchester’s communities.
“We are passionate about improving the lives of our most vulnerable residents in any way we can; and moving into training and employment is a great step that can have a really positive impact on mental health. The construction of our new £105m mental health unit provides an excellent opportunity for local people who aren’t in employment, education or training to do just this.”
Work on North View started in August 2022 with the new unit anticipated to be built and open by 2024.
Once completed, the upgrade will house a purpose-built Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), eight adult acute wards and a treatment suite.
The new development will see significant improvements to patient experience, with spacious single bedrooms, each with a private en-suite shower room, as well as a variety of indoor activity areas, meeting rooms for family visiting, multiple gardens, spaces for therapeutic artwork and a café.