TRANSPORT for West Midlands (TfWM) continues to deliver an ambitious plan to improve public transport across the region.
The expansion of the Metro network is a major part of the massive infrastructure plan. The Midland Metro Alliance (MMA), which is delivering tramway extensions on behalf of TfWM, brought together a collection of construction and design specialists to carry out the work to “tramsform” the region in 2016.
A key aim of the expansion project is to boost regeneration through employment and supply chain benefits, helping to recharge the region’s economy –astrategy that is ever more important with the impact of Covid-19. It’s an approach that MMA acts on with some authority with almost a dozen apprentices starting their construction careers within the last six months alone.
Led by the Midland Metro Alliance, employers from the UK’s Light Rail industry designed a level two apprenticeship specifically for the sector, aimed at those individuals who want to develop a career in the tramway construction environment. Stuart Fowkes, from Cradley Heath, a track operative for the MMA, was one of the first apprentices to complete the new and award-winning apprenticeship scheme in light rail.
He said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to be working towards a qualification and learning the different aspects involved in building a tramway. It helped me to take my career in this industry even further.”
Supporting this activity, the MMA launched an online platform, called Connecting Futures, to inspire the next generation of youngsters in the West Midlands to consider careers in construction and railway engineering. The platform has short videos from employees at the alliance that capture personal insights into their job roles and career journeys. The testimonials cover apprenticeships, graduate schemes and how to progress in the sector.
To access Connecting Futures, visit: www.metroalliance.co.uk/connectingfutures.