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Home > News > Local workforce shapes new hospital

Local workforce shapes new hospital

Posted on Wednesday 16th October 2013
wch-apprentices

Raymond Dockeray and Chris Moffatt

Dozens of local staff, including seven apprentices, are helping the new West Cumberland Hospital take shape.

A new cohort of apprentices from nearby Lakes College West Cumbria, in Lillyhall, began work on the project in late July. They include apprentices in electrical, mechanical and plumbing installations.

18 year-old Raymond Dockeray from Cleator Moor is working on the electrical installation of the redevelopment site for Crown House Technologies (part of the Laing O’Rourke group). He sees his apprenticeship as a real opportunity to build and develop a career: “Laing O’Rourke came to talk at college and our tutors then picked out some students to go for interview. I had read in the newspaper that a new hospital was being built but I hadn’t realised the scale of it until I visited the site.

“I am learning a lot working here and really enjoy it. I am also learning a lot about health and safety which is really important. After my year’s apprenticeship, I would like to get a job with Crown House and travel around the country with them if there’s an opportunity.”

Chris Moffatt (20), also from Cleator Moor, was studying plumbing at Lakes College when he went for an interview for an apprenticeship to be a mechanical and heating engineer. He said: “I am learning so much on my apprenticeship and it is a great company to work for so I’m pleased I now have it on my CV. I would also like to stay on and have a career with Crown House if I can.

“I saw the cranes going up at the hospital because I live so close. It’s great to be able to get an opportunity working on such a big project right on my doorstep.”

The apprentices are not the only local people to have found employment on the redevelopment project. Of the 130 people working on site and directly employed by developer Laing O’Rourke, 62 are from the local area.

Steve Kinninmonth, Project Manager for Laing O’Rourke, said: “We have a great team here and it is particularly gratifying to know that our team has a strong local foundation with in excess of 75% locally employed colleagues working for us and our local trade contractors. Of the 62 people directly employed by Laing O’Rourke, 54 are in new jobs that have been created on the project, including the seven apprentices we have taken on from Lakes College West Cumbria.”

Les Morgan, Director of West Cumberland Hospital, said: “We are building the new hospital to give the local people of West Cumbria a hospital which is fit for the future, so it’s fantastic that the project has also presented an opportunity for young people living in the local area to gain valuable work experience which could lead to an exciting career.”

The redevelopment is currently on schedule, with work on the new build phase due to be completed by December next year. Work will then begin on refurbishing the retained estate.