Twelve people in the West Midlands will be the first to achieve a qualification in Light Rail after the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education (IfATE) approves a new apprenticeship in Tramway Construction.
Led by the Midland Metro Alliance, which is extending the West Midlands Metro across the region on behalf of Transport for West Midlands, employers from the UK’s Light Rail industry have designed a level two apprenticeship specifically for the sector, aimed at those individuals who want to develop a career the tramway construction environment.
Kellyjoe Jones, General Operative for the Midland Metro Alliance, is one of the first cohort who is expected to begin the course later this year. Her studies will include light rail construction skills, traffic management, civil engineering and customer service, amongst other key learning areas. Successful completion of this apprenticeship will equip operatives like Kellyjoe with the necessary transferable skills and experience essential for light rail and urban construction projects across the UK.
Speaking about the apprenticeship, Kellyjoe said: “It’s great that I’ll be able to get a qualification that will help me progress in construction and learn about lots of different aspects of the work needed to build a tramway, which will help me to develop a career in this sector.”
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “This apprenticeship will be the first of its kind, and gives local people the chance to connect to the work happening on their doorstep, and earn while they learn valuable new construction skills. We are committed to apprenticeships in the West Midlands, as we work to ensure residents have every chance to gain new skills and qualifications to find great careers in our booming construction industry. This apprenticeship will contribute to a sustainable talent pipeline in the region, to support large infrastructure development projects in the region over the next few years.”
Alejandro Moreno, Director of Midland Metro Alliance, said: “The light rail sector is currently undergoing a period of expansion and a good quality apprenticeship is an ideal opportunity to re-focus and invest in our existing employees and new recruits.”
The apprenticeship is just one of the ways in which the Midland Metro Alliance is upskilling the region and working to redress the skills gap in the sector. Last year the organisation ran a successful careers advice roadshow across the West Midlands and provided more than 6,000 hours of work experience for local young people.