Building a better future for young

Bright sparks with a bright future back row from left: Ayoob Tariq, 18, from Glossop, near Manchester; Asa Widdup, 17, of central Blackpool: Scott Marshall, 17, of Denton, Manchester and Christopher Rowbotham, 17, from Marton. Front left, Thomas Fryer, 20, of Wrea Green and Max Webster, 17, of Bispham.
Bright sparks with a bright future back row from left: Ayoob Tariq, 18, from Glossop, near Manchester; Asa Widdup, 17, of central Blackpool: Scott Marshall, 17, of Denton, Manchester and Christopher Rowbotham, 17, from Marton. Front left, Thomas Fryer, 20, of Wrea Green and Max Webster, 17, of Bispham.
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DESPITE the doom and gloom messages surrounding UK employment prospects, Blackpool-based Ameon is bucking the trend in the construction sector, with the appointment of a group of bright sparks who will be hoping to shine, courtesy of a new apprenticeship scheme.

The firm, which boasts a turnover of more than £20m, has created six new electrical apprenticeships and filled the positions within hours of advertising them.

The apprenticeships will run for four years and have been awarded to teenagers from Blackpool and Manchester, who will join Ameon’s 150-strong site staff working on major construction projects across the North West.

Robin Lawson, managing director, said: We’ve been offering engineering training courses, leading to an engineering degree for several years and now have a number of qualified graduate engineers in our senior management team.

“However, more recently, we’ve found schools reluctant to explain the benefits of workplace degree study to students, yet they are considerable, not least that during the four year course, trainees earn competitive salaries, amass no student debt and hit the ground running once they’ve gained their degree.

“In essence, they have a distinct advantage over university graduates of similar age, because they qualify already earning salaries, and have four years commercial experience to boot.

“I think schools operate a ‘one size fits all’ policy when it comes to higher education and it seems that all children are encouraged to go on to university, which seems crazy in the face of viable study and training options in industry.”

Ameon plans to continue with its annual programme of trade and degree-based training schemes, which means annual employment opportunities in the North West for the region’s young people.

Mr Lawson added: “As a company, we’re working extremely hard to achieve growth, against the trend in construction, which is currently a very tough and highly competitive industry sector. We’re committed to the ongoing development of employment opportunities in established trades and the more specialist fields of renewable technologies, where we are one of the industry’s leading providers.

“As a result of our growth, which is a consequence of hard-earned contract gains, our workforce has expanded, and because of this, the potential for apprentices joining us is exceptional. We’re certainly not complacent about the future, but committed to investment in young people.”