On behalf of Balfour Beatty Living Places
Six unemployed young people from Hereford have secured apprenticeships with Balfour Beatty Living Places (BBLP) following a vocational training course run by youth charity The Prince’s Trust in partnership with the company.
During the next two years they will divide their time between learning on the job skills with the BBLP teams throughout the county and attending college.
Andy Williams, BBLP Contract Director, said: “As a company we encourage and support young people to get into the industry through an extensive apprenticeship programme as well as by sponsoring students and recruiting graduates.
“All the young people who joined us for the Get into Highway Maintenance Programme in the summer impressed us so much that we decided we had to offer them all apprenticeships.”
Among the new cohort of apprentices at BBLP is 20-year-old Jake Eggerton, who said now he had ‘something to get up for in the mornings’.
“I’d been unemployed for the past six months and have been living on my own since I was 16. I’ve had some bad years and really needed someone to give me a break which, thankfully, BBLP has done.”
He added: “I enjoy all aspects of the work and am amazed at how complex the safety side of the job is. And I’m getting use to the sensation of aching muscles after a hard day’s work!”
Twenty five year old Matt Barnett, who had been looking for a job all his adult life, said: “For the first time in my life I feel positive and it’s a real confidence boost. It’s great to spend the day working with a group of people who are becoming real mates.
“This is a really good opportunity and they don’t come along very often!” said Matt. “I’d like to thank BBLP and The Prince’s Trust for being so supportive.”
Providing work experience and apprenticeships is an important part of the National Skills Academy for Construction project that BBLP is delivering in partnership with Herefordshire Council. The council has been accredited under this scheme by the Construction Industry Training Board, and as part of it BBLP are also providing activities with schools, graduate jobs and training for local subcontractors. By working with the Prince’s Trust BBLP have been able to exceed the original work experience and apprenticeship requirements of the project.
Nationally, Balfour Beatty works in partnership with youth charity The Prince’s Trust to provide training and experience to the long term unemployed. The Trust helps disadvantaged young people to get their lives on track. It supports 13 to 30 year-olds who are unemployed and those struggling at school and at risk of exclusion.
The Prince’s Trust offers a range of Get into programmes across specific industries, such as hospitality and construction through to the NHS. The courses provide young people with intensive training and experience. Kerry White, Prince’s Trust Programme Executive, said:
“We are delighted that six young people on our programme have been offered an apprenticeship with Balfour Beatty Living Places. This is a great example of how a young person’s life can really be transformed with the right practical support and training in place. We know that three in four young people supported by The Prince’s Trust move into work, education or training.”
The two year apprenticeship programme will enable the candidates to gain a Level 2 Diploma in Highways Maintenance - Excavation Operations.