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25 November 2009

M74 Completion sets apprentices on the road to career success

Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson welcomed fifteen young people on the road to career success today as they were formally inducted to an M74 Modern Apprenticeship scheme.

The apprentices, who are mainly from the Glasgow and South Lanarkshire area, started working on the project last year as a result of the M74 Employability Partnership. They will now have the opportunity to maximise the benefits of this work experience as they start out on the Interlink M74 JV led Modern Apprenticeship scheme that allows them to become 'time-served' within two years.

Speaking at the induction Mr Stevenson said:

"The M74 Completion project is playing a vital role in providing employment for the construction industry in a period of economic difficulty, around 900 jobs at the project’s peak. Supporting and developing young people is a key part of this and I am delighted with the ways in which Interlink has proactively developed training opportunities for these young people and ensured their training will continue beyond the M74 Completion project.

"Not only will these Modern Apprenticeships provide the candidates with a strong starting point for their careers, the valuable experience and transferable skills they will gain as a result will stand them in excellent stead for the future.

"Transport Scotland's work alone supports over 25 per cent of the civil engineering contracting sector's workload in Scotland. Access to skilled employees is key to the success of our major infrastructure projects and investing in our people through programmes such as the Modern Apprenticeships is essential, not only to meet current needs, but also to ensure ongoing sustainable economic growth for Scotland."

The scheme, which has been developed by contractor Interlink M74 JV in conjunction with Construction Skills, will offer real employment opportunities for all fifteen involved.

Glasgow City Council’s Executive Member for Business and the Economy, Cllr George Ryan, said:

"I am very proud of the role we played - along with Interlink, the Glasgow East Regeneration Agency and our local government partners - in establishing the M74 Employability Partnership.

"That project has given these young people the skills and opportunity to secure Modern Apprenticeships on the biggest engineering project in the country and support from Interlink in forging long and successful careers in a great industry."

David Welsh, Interlink M74 Joint Venture Project Director, added:

"This is a fantastic day for the civil engineering industry as employers have been working for a number of years to put these apprenticeships in place; all candidates will be registered with Scottish Building Apprenticeship Council. We at Interlink are delighted to show faith in the future of the industry and the young people of the Glasgow and surrounding areas."

The Apprenticeships will cover key construction roles such as formwork, steelfixing, plant operation and general construction. The young people will serve their time with one of the four joint venture partners and remain there to complete their apprenticeship after the new M74 is open in 2011.

The M74 Completion project – one of the largest infrastructure schemes currently on the ground in Scotland - is a key part of the Scottish Government's current £2.5 billion programme of investment in transport infrastructure over the next three years. The scale and nature of the scheme allows the contractor to develop a Modern Apprenticeship programme that covers a diverse range of construction skills.

Completing the M74 from Carmyle to the M8 will return significant benefits to Scotland and its businesses by offering a quicker, safer and more efficient route to get their goods to market. The project will also reduce congestion in and around Scotland's largest city and capture the long term economic benefits that the Commonwealth Games will bring in 2014.

For more information on the project please visit www.m74completion.com and to find out more on Modern Apprenticeships visit http://www.cskills.org/
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