Apprentices join Island Roads

Highways Reporters

Six Islanders are on the road to a successful career in highways engineering and maintenance after taking up apprenticeships with Island Roads.

The six, aged between 16 and 24, have begun two-year apprenticeships which will feature on-the-job training as Island Roads delivers the 25-year highways PFI.

Island Roads had initially intended to take on four apprenticeships but the calibre of the 30 candidates who applied was of such quality that a further two apprenticeship placements were created.

The six will learn a range of skills including traffic management, emergency response techniques, as well as road building and maintenance methods such as kerbing, minor surfacing and drainage.

They will also receive on-the-job training and the support of designated individual mentors, off-the-job training through attendance at a specialist college working towards a Level 2 NVQ in highway maintenance. Pay increases as the apprentices complete set modules and each will be given a job on successful completion of their apprenticeship.

Island Roads service director Paul Herbert said: “We were particularly pleased that the calibre of people wishing to undertake one of our apprenticeships was so high. We are proud that local people will be learning skills and then using them in the years to come to improve the Island’s transport infrastructure through the highways PFI.”

One apprentice, former Ryde High student Todd Bennett, aged 20 said: “I am grateful to Island Roads for giving me this chance to train towards a career and also to earn a wage while doing so. I’ve always been interested in the construction industry and I am really looking forward to learning new skills and putting them into practice.”

Joining Todd in the apprenticeship schemes are James Coleman, Ryan Hawker, Scott Beecroft, Jacob Pelletier and Jordon Power.

Island Roads is in the process of upgrading, enhancing and maintaining the Isle of Wight’s 804km of rural and urban roads, 756km of footways, 29km of cycleways, over 12,000 street lights, 239 bridges, 612 structures, public car parks, signage, CCTV and street furniture.

Pictured from left to right: John Davies (senior supervisor), Ryan Hawker, Jacob Pelletier, Todd Bennett, Jordan Power, James Coleman, Scott Beecroft and Teresa Mitchell (highway service manager).
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