Scottish Government Ministers meet Amey apprentices at start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2015
18 May 2015
To mark the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2015 (18 – 22 May) Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities and Derek Mackay, Minister for Transport and Islands, met with Amey apprentices to find out how young people are benefitting from Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland.
Mr Brown met apprentices at the iconic Forth Road Bridge, while Mr Mackay visited a group of apprentices at Glasgow airport, as Amey committed to hiring over 1000 apprentices in the next four years.
(Pic: David Murphy, Amey Account Manager (left) and Derek Mackay MSP (centre) meet Amey apprentices
The Ministers met groups of apprentices representing the wide range of Amey’s business in Scotland, including highways, social housing, public service, education and built environment contracts.
Amey operates and maintains the Scottish Trunk Roads Unit South East (STRU SE) on behalf of Transport Scotland and from 1st June 2015 will take on the management and maintenance of the Forth Road Bridge and future Queensferry Crossing.
Amey delivers total facilities management services to Glasgow airport, providing a range of services including cleaning, ground maintenance, building maintenance and care of mechanical and electrical systems within the terminal.
Mr Brown and Mr Mackay learned the value of apprenticeships in helping businesses tackle the problem of an ageing workforce, by allowing experienced employees to pass on their knowledge to a future generation of skilled workers. They also took time to speak with Amey apprentices who are learning a range of practical, transferable skills that will stand them in good stead throughout their career.
(Pic: Keith Brown MSP (right) meeting at group of Amey apprentices at the Forth Road Bridge
Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, Keith Brown said: "Scotland’s young people have much to offer and our modern apprentices are helping create a dynamic and experienced workforce that makes a positive contribution to our business and industries.
“The Scottish Government is fully committed to the programme, with the aim of having 30,000 new opportunities by 2020, and this week will highlight the value of this to employers.
“Infrastructure and transport are key parts of our economy, supporting thousands of jobs across numerous sectors, like construction, roads and rail. It has been great to meet some of Amey’s Modern Apprentices today and hear about the skills they are developing and how these will benefit them in future.”
Minister for Transport and Islands Derek Mackay said: “I’m delighted to get the chance to meet Amey’s apprentices as part of Scottish Apprentice Week, highlighting the positive impact young people can have on business and industry, as well as their own job prospects.
“Modern Apprenticeships form a significant part of the Scottish Government’s work to address youth employment and the latest figures show that we are on course to have created over 100,000 new opportunities over the past four years. We want to continue supporting young people towards jobs and apprenticeships, with an aim to have another 30,000 new opportunities by 2020.
“By employing modern apprentices, we can help create a dynamic and experienced workforce for industries throughout Scotland. The staff at Amey are a fantastic example of this work being put into practice.”
Amey apprentices in Scotland also took part in a UK-wide challenge to support local communities earlier this year that saw 250 Amey apprentices volunteer 2,300 hours to help refurbish youth hostel accommodation; all whilst developing key work place skills, such as resilience, team work, communication, problem solving and leadership.
Mel Ewell, Amey’s CEO comments:
“Supporting communities and investing in people has always been at the core of our business and this week is all about demonstrating our commitment to these objectives. We’re delighted to be partnered with the DofE and SYHA as we celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on communities, businesses and the wider economy.”
For the last five years, Amey has offered all its apprentices the opportunity to achieve their Gold DofE Award as part of their apprenticeship programme, recognising the positive impact DofE programmes have on personal and professional development and, in turn, fostering the business leaders of the future. The apprentices’ volunteering efforts during SAW contribute towards their 18 month community volunteering commitments as part of achieving their Gold DofE Awards.
Commenting on the DofE Charity’s partnership with Amey, Peter Westgarth, Chief Executive of the DofE, said, “As a partner of the DofE Charity for thirteen years, Amey has long supported the development of young people and local communities. Through the Volunteering section of their DofE, apprentices give back to others whilst developing valuable skills and attributes that will support them as they progress through their career at Amey. We’re thrilled to be working in partnership with Amey and SYHA on such a worthwhile project that will have far-reaching benefits within local communities and the apprentices’ own personal and professional development.
Keith Legge, CEO of SYHA Hostelling Scotland, said, “As a not for profit organisation, we rely on the contribution of volunteers to help with a wide variety of projects in our youth hostels. We already have close links with DofE and are very grateful for the hard work of all the Amey apprentices – this is a fantastic project for all concerned.”