A University of Birmingham undergraduate will be part of the team building facilities for future generations when he starts his summer placement with Galliford Try, who are building the new Birmingham Dental Hospital & School of Dentistry.

Councillor Tahir Ali, Cabinet Member for Development, Jobs and Skills at Birmingham City Council met the construction team, including civil engineering student Awaes Ali, on the site at Pebble Mill, to witness the signing of an Employment Charter by main contractor Galliford Try.

The Charter, part of the Council’s Building Jobs in Greater Birmingham strategy, represents a commitment by contractor Galliford Try to working in partnership with the Council’s Employment Access Team and support unemployed Birmingham residents into the construction opportunities generated by the project.

The project has already created over 700 working weeks for previously unemployed individuals and looks well set to even outstrip the agreed target set by the charter - 1260 for the course of the 20-month construction period. 

The development of the 1.23-hectare (3.05-acre) site will see a new four-storey dental hospital and school of dentistry constructed, with a build cost of £34m. Totalling 15,465 sqm, it will house a range of services for the public including walk-in emergency dental care, Restorative, Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Orthodontics and Paediatric Dentistry.

The project, by Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust and the University of Birmingham, BaS LIFT (delivered through private sector partner Prime plc and the design team from One Creative Environments Ltd), Calthorpe Estates and Galliford Try, and will deliver the same range of services currently provided at the St Chad’s Queensway site. 

Awaes, a third year civil engineering undergraduate, is commencing a 12-month work placement on the project now exams are over. He commented: “It is exactly the kind of project that first captured my interest in civil engineering. This project will have a great visual impact, the sort of project you can pass by and be proud of.”

Signing the charter on behalf of the Council, Cllr Ali said: “The city council is committed to reducing unemployment in Birmingham and raising the skills level of local people, so we are delighted to be working in partnership with Galliford Try to ensure that new opportunities are provided through this important development.

“Together, we will promote local employment and apprenticeship opportunities at the Pebble Mill site and encourage the learning and development of the workforce, which in turn will promote growth and regeneration.”

Galliford Try Operations Director Simon Courtney said: “We are delighted to pledge our commitment to the Council and our stakeholder partners to continue to maximise the employment opportunities that we can offer for all on this site, and look forward to working with everybody to ensure that the project leaves behind a positive legacy for the community.”