A HAMPSHIRE highways firm has swelled its ranks after taking on six apprentices as full-time employees.
The six apprentices were taken on 18 months ago by Amey, which works with Hampshire County Council to maintain the county’s 5,600 miles of roads.
They joined the company in September 2011, and have completed on-the-job training and work placements alongside professional NVQ qualifications via Highbury College in Cosham.
During their training they also took part in the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award as part of the company’s national Apprenticeship Scheme, which last year achieved 250 apprenticeships nationwide, representing two per cent of Amey’s entire workforce.
Four of Hampshire’s graduating apprentices have been taken on as Highways Operatives based at Amey’s depots around the county – Zane Percival and Dan Gallein are based at the Hook depot, Ed Whitehouse at the Bishops Waltham depot and Lloyd Riggs at the Totton depot.
The other two, Anton George and Miles Ollett, are office-based at the company’s operational control room in Winchester.
David Ogden, Amey account director in Hampshire said: ‘This was our first intake of apprentices and I have been really impressed by their commitment and enthusiasm.
‘We’re committed to bringing on local talent in Hampshire, and these lads have developed professionally and personally over the past 18 months.
‘We’re all very proud of them and looking forward to working with them as their careers with Amey progress.’
Highbury College’s head of construction Rob Higgins added: ‘This group has worked hard to attain the necessary qualifications.
‘It’s schemes like this that really make a difference to local youth unemployment.’
Cllr Seán Woodward, executive member for economy, transport and environment at the council, said: ‘The county council strongly supports apprenticeships because they provide an excellent route into employment, offering education and on-the-job training.’