The number of Leeds College of Building students taken on as apprentices by sustainable urban developers Citu is set to double as a result of a new environmental project.
After nearly 12 months of groundworks, Citu is now onsite constructing a £125m Climate Innovation District in Leeds’s South Bank, building environmentally-sustainable timber-framed homes at its purpose-built Clarence Road factory, Citu Works, before assembling them onsite.
The regeneration project has led to a significant recruitment drive by the sustainable urban developer. The employment boost will see the number of Leeds College of Building students double from 12 to 24 within the electrical, plumbing, and carpentry and joinery trades.
Alongside the apprentices, Citu has been undergoing a recruitment drive over the last six months, creating jobs across a range of sectors including manufacturing, construction, digital and sales.
Ian Billyard, CEO and Principal at Leeds College of Building, said: “We are delighted with the project; it certainly demonstrates to students how buoyant the sector is right now. Citu approached the College for help with their recruitment process, and a number of students were put forward. It’s testament to the training that takes place at the College that 12 of these will be rewarded with an apprenticeship.
Chris Thompson, Citu’s Managing Director, said: “We are really pleased to be working in partnership with Leeds College of Building. These new roles will be part of creating the UK’s first zero-carbon neighbourhood. Every employee will benefit from ongoing training and development, working as part of our ‘Citu Squads’ made up of a team of skilled workers including plumbers, electricians, joiners and timber-frame specialists who will be permanent employees of Citu. They’ll learn new skill-sets in low-carbon construction, a sector which is set to grow massively over the coming years.”
The timber-framed ‘Citu homes’ are built to the highest environmental standards. The houses are airtight and thermally-efficient, have rainwater and storm-water collection, solar panels, green roofs and surfaces, south facing windows, and use smart technology.
When fully geared up, the factory will be producing 200 houses a year rising to 750 houses per year. Citu has plans for 1,000 homes on various sites across the country and will sell the Citu Home to other developers.
The Climate Innovation District will include 520 new one-, two-, three- and four-bed low-carbon homes alongside leisure, offices and climate-resilient public realm in the heart of the city’s landmark South Bank Leeds regeneration project.