John Lewis has joined SEGRO plc (SEGRO) and Brent Council’s skills and employment scheme, along with online supermarket Ocado and Mash Purveyors – distributors of quality fruit and vegetables to London’s top hotels and restaurants.
SEGRO, the developer of Origin, the light industrial and logistics development on the former Guinness brewery site, and Brent Council launched the scheme in November 2014. Its purpose is to increase levels of skills and employment opportunities in Brent. It will also enable new businesses coming to Origin to identify and recruit a local workforce.
SEGRO acts as the conduit between businesses on the Origin site and local residents via Brent Council’s Employment and Enterprise team. Together they work with businesses to design a bespoke training and recruitment plan to identify suitable candidates for interview.
Local colleges, training providers and Jobcentre Plus are also part of the partnership.
Since its inception, the scheme has already proved successful with 12 new staff members joining Mash Purveyors from the local community – 10% of the workforce in that unit.
Mash has been located in London for 150 years but will be moving its entire operation to Origin by June 2015. From here, it plans to grow its business, which includes recruiting more staff from the local area.
Charlie Mash, Mash Purveyors said: “We have now successfully relocated our business to Origin from south west London and are enjoying the new space. Moving here has given us long term security that enables us to continue to service our customers as well as growing our own business – including our workforce.
“Through the employment scheme, we have already recruited 12 new employees from the local area – that’s 10% of our total employees.”
The rise of e-commerce and population growth in London is driving up the demand for quality industrial property to enable companies, like John Lewis, Mash Purveyors and Ocado, to efficiently distribute their goods and meet the needs of their customers, say SEGRO.
Detailed planning has also been granted for the second and final phase of Origin which will be made up of three units. John Lewis have already signed a 25 year lease for a 108,000 sq ft modern purpose built delivery facility and the other two units will total 99,560 sq ft. All will achieve a ‘BREEAM’ excellent standard.
Construction for this second and final phase of the development will begin in April and when complete at the end of 2015 Origin will total 357,560 sq ft.
Alan Holland, SEGRO’s Business Unit Director for Greater London said: “It’s great to see how this new scheme is already delivering benefits to the local area. We’re proud to work with the council and make the vital connection between our customers and their potential workforce, which ultimately benefits the local community.
“This is proof that Origin is more than a collection of buildings – it is enabling growth for business and employment for the people of Brent.”