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Library of Birmingham Apprentice Scheme

Library of Birmingham apprentices

Young people from Birmingham who are most marginalised in the current labour market are being given access to employment opportunities on the Library of Birmingham build project through an apprenticeship scheme.

The first nine to be awarded apprenticeships under a training and employment agreement between Birmingham City Council’s Employment Access Team (EAT) and Carillion, the contractor appointed to build the new Library, have already picked up their hard hats. At least 25 apprenticeships will be established over the course of the project.

The first intake of apprentices took place in August with the second phase in November. The young people who have been recruited are being supported through the apprenticeship process and benefitted from pre-employment training with Carillion Training Services, which included taster sessions in bricklaying, carpentry and joinery.

The apprentices undergo an initial 14-week training period to achieve a Diploma Level 1 in either Joinery or bricklaying, together with other essential key skills training and following the successful completion of the course are offered an 18-month employment contract with Carillion. Louis Inverary was in the first intake of successful apprentices in August. He greatly appreciates all the help and support provided by EAT and Carillion in recognising his potential and getting him on the apprenticeship course.

Shilpi Akbar, Assistant Director, Regeneration, Birmingham City Council who is responsible for the Employment Access Team, said: "Local unemployed people who are marginalised in the current labour market and living in the most deprived areas of the city will have maximum opportunity to benefit from bespoke pre-employment training and job opportunities on the construction and fit-out of the new library or on other Carillion projects. The first 9 apprentices recruited through the Employment Access Team have now begun their training and can expect to benefit from Carillion's commitment to job sustainability. Opportunities like this are vital, as it can be very hard for unemployed people to compete, particularly in the current economic climate".

Simon Dingle, Operations Director at Carillion added: “We are delighted that we have given 9 new apprentices the chance to widen their skills at the Carillion Training Centre in Birmingham in both bricklaying and carpentry as well as hands-on experience on site. As part of the regeneration of Birmingham, Carillion will continue to offer such opportunities over the next three years during the development of the new Library, helping more young people forge a career in the construction industry."

Brian Gambles, Assistant Director of Culture, Birmingham City Council said: “With news on November 26th that planning permission had been granted building work can go ahead on the Library of Birmingham. This is a fantastic opportunity for the apprentices to be involved on this flagship project for the city and they can take great pride in working on what will be one of the city’s great landmarks.”

Further apprentice intakes will be planned over the lifetime of the construction, providing at least 25 apprentice contracts.