When young people start thinking of a future career path, working on the highways is not necessarily their first thought. Working in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council, Ringway are offering something different for young people through their Trainee Highway Worker and Apprenticeship Schemes and with the opening of a dedicated Training Centre at Sutterton.
On Tuesday 31 March, 25 guests including local councillors, were invited to visit and tour the centre, meet the Trainee Highway Workers and Apprentices and see their work first-hand. Councillor William Webb, Lincolnshire County Council’s Executive Member for Highways, and Councillor Mrs Christine Talbot, Executive Member for Secondary Education and Healthier Communities, officially unveiled a plaque to open the centre.
Councillor Mrs Christine Talbot, said: “Many organisations used to run apprenticeship schemes and they produced the skilled workforce that companies need, but sadly these schemes have greatly declined in recent years. It’s great to see that one of our partners is willing to invest in our young people and this centre will be a great asset for this area, made possible by superb partnership working.”
The opening was the culmination of a five-year programme to create real careers in Highways for young people not wishing to follow mainstream education. The centre has been developed to promote the training of young people through classroom and practical learning on the same site.
Based on the site of a former railway station, the apprentices have used their skills learned through the apprenticeship scheme to restore a little of Lincolnshire’s railway heritage back to its former glory. They designed the layout, content and worked on the block paving, signage, and fencing, as part of a number of activities. Now the permanent works are complete they will concentrate on constructing the depot, roadways, footpaths and hard standings.
Councillor William Webb, added: “This centre demonstrates what can be achieved if companies and authorities provide opportunities for young people to learn a skill within a job, working within the community they live.”
Since its introduction in 2004 the Trainee Highway Worker Scheme has become Ringway’s principal means of Roadworker recruitment.
Supplementary information – The training centre is currently being used by young people from Gainsborough, Lincoln, Sleaford, Horncastle, Boston and Spalding.