MORE than 700 jobs have been created in the past year thanks to Sedgemoor District Council's practice of working with developers to ensure that employment opportunities presented by new projects become jobs for local people.

Ever since the Council introduced its Employment and Skills Charter 10 years ago, it has sought to apply a Local Labour Agreement as a planning condition for permission to proceed with major developments such as housing schemes, retail outlets, hotels and offices.

Between April 2017 and March 2018, 738 local jobs were created during the construction of a range of buildings and 115 posts went to people from the District in new premises when they became operational.

Not only do the agreements lead to the creation of jobs, but they also provide for work placements and work experience as well as training and qualifications for those already in work, which means a rise in skill levels.

A former Royal Marine discharged on medical grounds and students from Bridgwater and Taunton College are just a few of the individuals who have benefitted from an introduction to the construction industry made possible by the collaboration between local authorities and building companies.

Employment, skills and training manager at Sedgemoor District Council, Caroline Derrick, said the figures just released for the last year were 'really encouraging'.