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JOBSEEKERS have been given a boost after new rules were brought in by city leaders in Portsmouth.

Developers will now have to offer apprenticeships, work experience placements and other contracts to local people when they start projects in the city.

They will also have to forge partnerships with schools and offer taster days.

The new rules are part of a ‘client-based approach’ licence which Portsmouth City Council has signed in association with The National Skills Academy for Construction.

Linda Taylor, the council’s employment initiatives manager, said the move was great news.

‘It’s brilliant,’ she said.

‘It’s about giving local people local jobs, rather than having people who come in from 20 to 50 miles away.

‘It’s a win-win situation because contractors like local people to do a job because if they live close by it is less difficult for them to get to work, especially if there is snow.

‘It means they are able to walk to work.

‘We have got all these people that are ready to get back to work, and we could now provide pre-employment training for them

‘We can give them a bit of a brush-up and then we can prepare them for interviews for jobs.’

The licence has already been adopted by other cities.

‘Southampton has done 40 developments like this in the last few years,’ Mrs Taylor said.

The number of jobs on offer will depend on the cost and scale of the project and where it is.

Work will be offered once the redevelopment of the former Southdown bus depot in Hilsea begins.

As previously reported, plans to turn the site into a into a health and residential complex were approved by councillors in February.

Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock, who is cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development said: ‘It’s good news and we have got to make sure that it works. We will be charged to make sure that developers and The National Skills Academy for Construction deliver this.’