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The Business Magazine July 2024
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Job opportunities knock at Cotswold Designer Outlet project in Tewkesbury

The Business Magazine article image for: Job opportunities knock at Cotswold Designer Outlet project in Tewkesbury
Cotswold Designer Outlet April 2024
19 June 2024
Cotswold Designer Outlet April 2024

Construction company Bouygues UK, which is on-site building the new Cotswold Designer Outlet, is working with Gloucester and Tewkesbury Job Centres.

Bouygues UK is the main contractor delivering the first phase of Cotswolds Designer Outlet in Tewkesbury, a project by Gloucester-based developer Robert Hitchins Ltd. Construction works began last November, and the outlet is doe to open next Spring (2025). 

The outlet hopes to welcome up to 90 new, high-quality fashion, sports, lifestyle and food & beverage brands to the new 186,000 sq ft Cotswolds-inspired setting at Junction 9 of the M5, Tewkesbury.

Bouygues UK is working with the DWP to target job seekers who are work-ready to join the team during the construction phase. 

The sector-based work academy programme (SWAP) gives jobseekers who are 16 and over and are claiming benefits, the opportunity to apply for jobs. This programme can last up to six weeks and includes pre-employment training, on-site training and mentoring, a short work placement and a guaranteed job interview or help with the application process. The first phase of the programme began in April and, as the construction programme progresses through the summer and into the autumn, further on-site job opportunities will become available.

Nick Toulson, Bouygues UK’s social value advisor on this project, has been working with Gloucester and Tewkesbury Job Centres to deliver presentations promoting the construction sector and the vacancies available with Bouygues UK on the Outlet site. He has also run a Prepare to Work session for jobseekers which aims to provide a pool of local labourers that can be placed with Bouygues UK and its forthcoming on-site supply chain, which includes construction recruitment Sphere Solutions and local contractors McCoy’s.

Nick said, “Social value isn’t just about bringing people in to work at Bouygues UK, it is also about us putting ourselves right at the heart of the local community, with careers events and initiatives that give real visibility and opportunities on the projects we are working on.

“Our work allows local people to see the progress being made on construction sites and introducing them to the wide and varied range of jobs that are available on construction projects such the Cotswolds Designer Outlet. This is something that is really important to us as a responsible building contractor.”

Nick added, “Our goal is to help create a better life for communities in which we work and our collaborative approach with partners like the DWP, Sphere Solutions and McCoy’s means we have already found opportunities for those out of work to gain employment on site. For example, Sphere Solutions has employed two previously unemployed people as a labourer and a cleaner and McCoy’s has placed two apprentices, and we look forward to helping more jobseekers find employment through these initiatives and partnerships.”

Cotswolds Designer Outlet is being delivered in two phases and will create up to 500 new retail job opportunities for the area, a major boost for the local and regional economy that will act as a catalyst for growth.

Andrew Duncan, Head of Placemaking, Marketing and Communications at Multi-Realm, the retail operating partner for the Outlet said, "In today's retail landscape, modern retailing demands a diverse skill set that extends beyond traditional guest service and merchandising. It now encompasses social media proficiency, with many stores taking on individual responsibility for content creation. This evolution makes the profession more dynamic and appealing, challenging outdated perceptions of retail work as merely processing transactions behind a counter. Retail staff receive extensive training, preparing them for various life situations both inside and outside the store. They gain confidence, become part of a global brand, and embrace contemporary values like sustainability, equality, and purpose."


Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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