100th apprentice for New Street station

By on 07/03/2014 in Cllr Ali, News

The team redeveloping Birmingham New Street station is celebrating the appointment of the 100th apprentice to the project.

James Skyrme, from Birmingham, is the 100th apprentice to be recruited to work on site at Birmingham New Street as an apprentice for local demolition firm Coleman & Company.

The milestone coincides with National Apprenticeship Week which aims to raise awareness of the importance of apprenticeships to those looking to learn skills and a trade and to businesses and industry.

The 100 Birmingham New Street apprentices have been taken on within two years of the scheme making a pledge to recruit more than 100 apprentices to help deliver the station's transformation.

Before being employed by Coleman & Company, James had been unemployed for two months after completing a Future Jobs Fund placement with Birmingham City Council's housing department. James registered on the council's employment access database and was contacted to see if he was interested in applying for a vacancy with Coleman and Co.

Commenting on his apprenticeship, James said: “I now have a full time job that I love. I've been treated really well by Coleman & Company and they've put me through loads of training. Having the means to support myself has made a real change to my life.”

Chris Montgomery, Network Rail project director, said: “The redevelopment of Birmingham New Street will transform the experience for millions of passengers who use the station every year and allow it to handle the ever increasing number of people who choose to travel by train. This project will also boost the local economy by regenerating the city centre and creating new jobs. Working alongside Birmingham City Council and our delivery partner Mace, we are helping to support young people from across the West Midlands and beyond to get access to and learn a trade which will provide them with many opportunities in the future.”

The redevelopment of the station will not only deliver benefits to millions of passengers every year, it will also make a positive impact on local unemployment in Birmingham while the work takes place and aims to employ 1,000 people.

Mark Carless, contracts director at Coleman & Company, said: “Coleman & Co is dedicated to bringing out the best in our employees, and sees the benefits for the individual and the company in investing in the training and development of our staff. We put real value in apprenticeships as a way to support young people to get into the industry and receive training whist on the job and earning a wage. James has been a great asset since he joined us; he has taken to demolition and is implementing what he is learning on the job. He has a real future with Coleman & Co.”

Birmingham City Council has been working with contractors and their supply chain to achieve the project's goal to leave a legacy of skills, training and education in the community.

Councillor Tahir Ali, cabinet member for development, jobs and skills, said: “We all know that apprenticeships are vital to ensure that we are training our next generation of young people.

This is a fantastic opportunity for some of Birmingham's unemployed youngsters. To achieve this milestone of 100 apprentices gives a strong message of what can be achieved through leading by example and striving for excellence in skills and employment.”

Mace, the international consultancy and construction company on the project has recruited 12 apprentices directly. Martyn Woodhouse, Delivery Director at Mace said: “The construction sector is experiencing a period of rapid growth with the Construction Industry Training Board estimating that more than 182,000 additional jobs will be created by 2018. The apprentices at Birmingham New Street bring fresh ideas and thinking. As a sector we need to nurture their enthusiasm by pairing them with experienced hands who can equip them with the skills and knowledge to deliver and build sustainable careers.”

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