With Grand Central Birmingham due to open this September, the city is gearing up to ensure that residents from Birmingham and the wider city are ready to take advantage of more than 1,000 job opportunities that will be created.

Construction has now begun on the final phase of Birmingham’s major new retail and dining destination that will sit above the transformed New Street Station.

When completed this autumn Grand Central will enhance the city’s retail landscape and open up a mix of retail, hospitality and customer service roles in the heart of the city.

Training providers are now preparing local candidates to develop the right skills and attributes to meet the expectations of employers coming to the city, enabling them to recruit the best workforce from the local community.

Shilpi Akbar, co-chair of Birmingham Growth Alliance Partnership (BGAP)and Assistant Director for Employment, Birmingham City Council said: “With over 1,000 jobs being created at Grand Central, this partnership is committed to reflect Birmingham’s diverse community and showcase the skills of Birmingham’s jobseekers. Our work to date has been to develop and co-ordinate high quality training across the city in the customer service, retail and hospitality sectors to ensure unemployed people have access to the range of job opportunities which will arise from Grand Central.”

Grand Central Birmingham will be anchored by a 250,000 sq ft John Lewis shop, one of the retailer’s biggest outside of London, which will be providing over half of the 1,000 opportunities available.

Richard Brown, Grand Central Development Director said “Grand Central is committed to providing local jobs for local people. We want to ensure that the opportunities created by the new development are accessible to all and benefit Birmingham.

The investment John Lewis has made to Birmingham further supports the growth of the city and maximises the opportunities available for local people to work for a leading premium retail brand,”said Brown.

Lisa Williams, Head of Branch, John Lewis Birmingham commented “We have been working alongside the BGAP for almost two years to develop a pre-employment training package dedicated to ensuring the jobs created by our new shop are accessible to the local community.

Our aim as an employer is to reflect the community in which we trade and we’re really excited to welcome new Partners to the John Lewis Birmingham team in the coming months.”

Many local people, including a number of apprentices have already been involved in the construction of Grand Central and New Street Station supporting one of the city’s leading priorities: the creation of training, development and employment opportunities for the people within Birmingham.

The Grand Central Jobs Roadshow will be going live this ,month, with community events across Birmingham promoting employment and training opportunities. Events are taking place in all 14 Jobcentres across the city, as well as at community venues and city centre venues, supported by the Department for Work and Pensions and the National Careers Service. If you are a jobseeker wishing to apply for training and job opportunities at Grand Central, then you will need to register with the National Careers Service.