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National programme to get young people fired up about property careers set for Stoke-on-Trent

Published: Monday, 19th December 2022

A NATIONAL programme to give young people a taste of a future in the property and development world is set to take place in Stoke-on-Trent.

‘Regeneration Brainery’ is an immersive workshop where young people from diverse backgrounds can spend time with and learn from leaders in the built environment sector. It’s planned to take place in Stoke-on-Trent in February 2023, with young people from Stoke-on-Trent College set to take part in the initial sessions.

The not-for-profit programe is the brainchild of Capital&Centric, the social impact developers partnering with Stoke-on-Trent City Council to deliver the Goods Yard – the £60 million mission to transform an industrial site next to Stoke-on-Trent’s mainline train station into a destination neighbourhood.

The Brainery is far from a stuffy seminar. The fun programme links young people who might have an initial interest in the sector with mentors who can give them real-world advice on how to get a foot in the door. It features a mix of inspiring talks, construction site visits and group workshop tasks.

The Brainery, working in collaboration with the Stoke-on-Trent Careers Hub, aligns with the council’s priority to support 14 to 25 year-olds in developing skills and qualifications so they can reach their full potential and meet the needs of employers in the city.

Tim Heatley, co-founder at Capital&Centric, said:

“Regeneration shapes the places we live and work … it offers bags of exciting and diverse job opportunities that young people just often aren’t aware of from architecture and civil engineering, to design and marketing.

“If we’re to create inclusive and diverse neighbourhoods, we need to have ideas and solutions from young people with a whole range of backgrounds. We set up the Brainery specifically to get young people fired up about what they could achieve from a career in regeneration and then make the intros to people who are living that life.

“We can’t wait to bring the Brainery to young people in Stoke-on-Trent who may have just the inkling of interest in regeneration. From the thousands of people we’ve had through the Brainery doors so far, so many of them say it inspired them to explore a future in regeneration.

"What started as our passion project for Capital&Centric has blossomed into a major force for good. Over 5000 students across 5 major cities including Manchester and London have taken part, with over 500 industry mentors actively involved. It’s non-stop for the team, with plans to expand into new locations including Stoke-on-Trent, alongside cities like Leeds and Liverpool.

The Brainery in Stoke-on-Trent is all part of a push to ensure that the Goods Yard development – a major project backed by the Government’s Levelling Up funding – leaves a positive lasting legacy in the region. It’s estimated the construction phase of the  project will generate 12 apprenticeships, 12 work placements and 8 new entrant jobs as well as the employment of local construction labour. 

Work to construct the Goods Yard started in October, with initial demolition of the tired industrial buildings with no architectural merit now well underway. Next year will see restoration of the vaulted warehouse on the site begin, with foundations also set to be laid for the new apartment block.

Cllr Abi Brown, Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said:

“We’re very excited about the Regeneration Brainery coming to Stoke-on-Trent and it’s great to be working with social impact developer Capital&Centric in creating local opportunities as part of the Goods Yard development.

“Our regeneration projects are not just about creating fabulous places to live, work and enjoy. Right from the outset, the development process offers many opportunities to create jobs and skills which are key to Levelling Up Stoke-on-Trent.

“We want young people to be inspired by the changing city which is their future and the opportunities this brings. The Regeneration Brainery will showcase a wide range of potential careers which all contribute to the development and regeneration industry.

“We hope that students in the class of 23 will be planning and building the Stoke-on-Trent of the future.”

The Regeneration Brainery will run from 6 to 10 February and will take in visits to key development sites around Stoke-on-Trent. The week kick-starts a year of ongoing support to help the students into employment in the sector.

Further info about the Brainery can be found here:

Further info about the Goods Yard can be found here:

Additional Info for media:

Meet Sami

Sami Mhar (18) is just one of the 5000+ young people who credit the Regeneration Brainery as being instrumental in their future. He knew the science and medicine path many of his classmates were taking wasn’t for him.

Attendance at a week-long brainery fanned an initial flame to explore the sector. Whilst the hands-on tasks put him out of his comfort zone, the unparalleled access to industry experts through the week and subsequent networking events saw his determination to secure a job grow.

He’s just secured and started a full-time apprenticeship with a land and property company, linked to a degree at the University of Salford. It was a fantastic feat given the organisation were so impressed with his enthusiasm, they created the apprenticeship for him. He said: “You get out what you put in. I threw myself into the brainery and I owe so much to it as a result.”