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Oak View Group (OVG), owners of Co-op Live, the new 23,500 capacity arena in Manchester currently under development, said it will support a minimum of 100 apprenticeships during the three-year construction phase, as well as establishing a new training hub for the local community.

The announcement follows calls by the Northern Powerhouse Partnership for 10,000 additional apprentices to level up the North to address growing skills shortages.

OVG is working alongside construction partners BAM Construction which is currently overseeing 10 new apprentices working on site. Alongside opportunities for apprenticeships in manual trades, such as mechanics, plumbing and electrical work related to the arena’s build, the project will also support technical and professional management roles like quantity surveyors, site managers, audio and visual technicians and other engineers.

The apprenticeships will provide opportunities for young people ranging from level 2 through to level 5, which is degree level work and beyond. BAM said it will mentor apprentices through the program, and work with subcontractors to ensure there are opportunities for local young people in every aspect of the build. All apprentices, and other workers on the site, will be paid the Real Living Wage for their work.

OVG International chief operating officer Mark Donnelly said, “It’s brilliant to see the first 10 apprentices working on site and we recognise the role apprenticeships play in up-skilling people, and I’m excited to continue working with BAM and others to deliver 100 apprenticeships who will help bring one of the world’s greatest arenas to Manchester.”

BAM regional director Ian Fleming said, “These are exciting times for Manchester and for my team across the whole of the North West. As the construction partners for this amazing new arena, our commitment to the city cannot be spelled out any better than by using the work we do to improve local people’s life chances in this way. It’s a brilliant opportunity to give something back to the working life of the city we have built so much of, for so long.”