Department store John Lewis, along with property developer Hammerson and Leeds City Council have all signed an employment and skills charter to mark their commitment to supporting Leeds residents in accessing more than 1,000 new employment opportunities arising as part of the 165 million pound Victoria Gate development.
The charter sets out how the organisations will work collaboratively to help local people, including young people, have access to skills training, retail and hospitality jobs as well as additional construction employment opportunities being created by the development of the new retail scheme.
Skills and training is a top priority of the charter so each organisation has committed to working closely with local colleges and universities, training providers as well as specialist agencies, to help achieve this goal.
The Victoria Gate scheme, which is on schedule to open in late 2016, will be anchored by a regional flagship John Lewis shop and will also feature a two-street covered arcade with more than 30 retailers and restaurants.
Andy Street, managing director of John Lewis, said: “We are committed to the local communities in which we operate, and by signing this charter, it affirms our focus to provide local jobs for local people. We want to ensure that job opportunities created by our Victoria Gate shop are accessible to all Leeds residents and we look forward to welcoming new Partners into our business.”
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, added: “It is one of our top priorities as a council to ensure that everyone in the city shares the opportunities provided by economic development as we forge forward for the future.
“We work closely with developers and companies setting up in the city to ensure that employment for local people is high on their agenda and I am delighted that John Lewis and Hammerson are taking their responsibilities seriously.”