Lancashire apprentices made redundant are thrown a lifeline by specialist construction firm

A Blackpool specialist construction firm has come to the rescue of a group of apprentices who had been made redundant.

Services engineering company Ameon stepped in and offered positions for five young workers after they were let go by former employers, as part of the fallout from Covid-19.

The Whitehills-based firm, which is seeing demand soaring, heard of the plight of the five, third and fourth-year electrical trainees, who had been employed by three companies in the region.

Bosses decided to double the company’s planned 2020 intake of apprentices from five to ten, to enable the previously unlucky quintet to complete their apprenticeships and qualify as electricians.

The apprentices given another chance to finish their training after being taken on by Blackpool firm Ameon. Left to right: Hayden Miles, 18, Stanley Park, Blackpool; James Murphy, 16, St Annes; Kieran Wright, 16, Ribbleton, Preston; Christian Roberts, 17, Basford, Stoke-on-Trent; Robert Jackson, 30, Fulwood, Preston; Luke Baillie, 20, Thornton Cleveleys; Thomas Ousby, 19, Freckleton, Preston; Harvey Cygal, 20, Fleetwood; Ryan O’Toole, 24, and Jamie Fradgley, 19, of Thornton and Cleveleys.

Fourth year apprentices, Luke Baillie, 20, and Ryan O’Toole, 24, both of Thornton and Cleveleys, worked for the same electrical contractor in Blackpool. Fleetwood’s Harvey Cygal, 20, was made redundant from his job in Poulton-le-Fylde, and Robert Jackson, 30, of Fulwood, Preston and Thomas Ousby, 19, of Freckleton, were working on the same project for a mechanical and electrical contractor in Preston when they received the bad news about redundancy.

The five will join the first year electrical and mechanical apprentice cohort at the Blackpool based company, with more apprentices set to join to fill the remaining mechanical/heating ventilation positions.

All will work across the region on a series of high profile contracts in Manchester, Liverpool, Preston and Cheshire.

Ameon contract director, Rod Bunce said: “Without continued employment, the mature apprentices would not have been able to complete their training and studies, so although we had budgeted already for our planned apprenticeships this year, we couldn’t turn a blind eye to the situation of these young people.

“It would have been such a waste of their talent, efforts and study to date, and we are happy to have stepped in to offer them another chance.

“Our decision wasn’t all about altruism though because we know we’re investing in our business by helping these young people achieve their qualifications.”

Fourth year apprentice, Robert Jackson, of Fulwood, said: “It was a shock to lose a job so close to qualifying, particularly in the current climate, so I’m really pleased that Ameon has given me and the others a chance.”