Willmott Dixon has pledged to create apprentices and provide weeks of work experience to school pupils following its appointment on a £25m construction framework with Wigan Council and Wigan & Leigh Housing, the Council’s arm's length management organisation for housing.

Working with another framework partner, the company has promised to create five apprenticeships as well as provide 52 weeks of work experience, plus deliver 100 workshops for local school and college pupils. This will support its role building homes for Wigan Council and Wigan & Leigh Housing, which has plans to build 250 new homes for affordable rent.

Stuart Belfield, operations director for Willmott Dixon in the North West said, “We recently became the only contractor to win a Queen’s Award for Enterprise this year for sustainable development, which was in recognition of our focus on adding value in communities where we work. With our long term presence in Wigan, we look forward to applying that same focus during the framework to benefit the career prospects of many young people in the town.

Cllr Chris Ready, cabinet member for communities and housing at Wigan Council, said: “This framework will help us to achieve our goal of providing a significant increase in the number of affordable homes which will benefit residents across the borough.

"I am particularly delighted that a local company will be working with us to deliver this project as, where possible we believe in supporting local businesses, therefore helping to boost the local economy through providing jobs and procurement.”