Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council


8 weeks

The Hopes Carr project involved the reconstruction of a car park to form a memorial park in remembrance of the 72 passengers and crew who lost their lives in the Stockport Air Disaster on the 4th June 1967.

We utilised the project as a training programme, identifying it as a great opportunity to build something of note using our trainees. The idea to create our own in-house skills training department was initiated by the managing director Chris Cox and is run by our skills training manager Steve Abbott. Steve has been with George Cox for over 20 years, with a total of 48 years of experience within the industry.

Our in-house training initiative began in October 2021, when a shortfall was identified within the skilled labour sector.  The aim is to provide tailored, hands-on training to all employees within the organisation, with a vision to equip them with the competencies required within the industry.  We particularly concentrate on our apprentices and lower-level operatives to enhance and develop them into tradesmen.

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Councils Senior Engineer and Landscape Project Officer for the scheme, Rebecca Nedeljkovic, did not have a fixed programme and was keen on the idea of the involvement of the trainees.  Therefore, after the initial heavy work of stripping the site, eight of the operatives identified for training built the site and assisted the more specialised tradesmen by importing stone, tarmac, flagging, kerbing, and fencing.  The project was completed by the trainees, who finalised the trim to the stone, laid the key kerbs, installed blocks as an edging channel, and screed the sand. 

After an intensive 3 months programme at Hopes Carr the trainees have received a wider range of experience than is usually possible in such a short time.

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