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Amey launches Apprenticeship Academy to develop the engineers of tomorrow

Press Release   •   Nov 19, 2010 15:33 GMT

Leading public services provider Amey has launched a national Apprenticeship Academy, creating 100 new jobs for young engineers with support from Lord Digby Jones. It comes as Government announces plans for an additional 75,000 apprentices across the country.

The scheme was officially launched at a pioneering training centre for Network Rail in Walsall, West Midlands, because many of the new apprentices will be working on rail projects. The complex features a realistic mock rail environment where employees can practise practical engineering techniques or shadow experienced rail professionals.

Under the Amey Apprenticeship Academy scheme, young engineers will complete a structured career and self-development programme. This includes studying towards recognised professional qualifications, completing work placements, on-the-job training and achieving the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Mel Ewell, Chief Executive of Amey said: “We are extremely proud to launch the Amey Apprenticeship Academy and invest in young people, particularly at a time of economic uncertainty.

“The programme is designed specifically to help young people negotiate an extremely tough jobs market and learn practical skills that will give them real, long term career prospects.

“It is fitting that we launched the Amey Apprenticeship Academy in the West Midlands, which despite having one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the UK, also has a pool of incredibly talented young people. We look forward to supporting the apprentices throughout their careers which will drive investment into the communities we work in.”

Lord Digby Jones added: “Amey is a significant employer, not just in the West Midlands, but across the UK. This commitment to investing in training and personal development of young people should serve as a model, demonstrating how all UK businesses can play a part in developing the skilled professionals of tomorrow.”

Steve Featherstone, Director of infrastructure maintenance for Network Rail, said: “Improving the skills of our nation is vital if we are to build economic prosperity. Any effort to boost the skills of those who help deliver a better, value-for-money railway is good news for everyone. We know from our own apprenticeship scheme and focus on training for our people, how valuable investing for the future can be.”

Amey’s new apprentices will be working on some of the country’s key infrastructure schemes including:

  • CEFA – a national, £200 million scheme to examine every single bridge, tunnel and signal box belonging to Network Rail. Amey is also the UK’s largest track renewals specialist.
  • The £2.7 billion Birmingham Highways PFI. Amey is delivering a 25 year contract to manage and maintain highways in Birmingham. It is the largest contract of its kind in the UK.