Altrad NSG, Merseylink’s scaffolding supplier, has hired two local apprentices to work on the Mersey Gateway Project in honour of National Apprentice Week.
David McNamara, 22, and Paul Humphries, 20, both from Runcorn, have started a 20-month apprenticeship with the scaffolding and industrial services specialist.
The Deeside-based subcontractor is providing all scaffolding and access for the construction of Halton’s new cable-stayed bridge and the 9.2km road network that goes with it.
New entrants David from Halton Brook and Paul from Grangemoor are assisting Altrad NSG’s experienced scaffolding gangs in erecting scaffolding for the bridge piers, pylons, and elevated approach roads across the project.
“I’ve worked with Altrad NSG as a labourer since I left school and I’m keen to progress in the trade,” David, who is based on site at Ditton in Widnes, said. When I inquired about available positions, I was encouraged to apply for the apprenticeship.
“I’m having a great time with it; it’s like playing with big Lego. I’m learning a lot from working on site, and the guys are great.”
Paul has joined the scaffolding crew, which is working on the moveable scaffolding system.
“I applied for the apprenticeship because I want to learn a trade,” he explained. I’m having fun learning about all of the scaffolding equipment and how it works. The Mersey Gateway Project is one of the most important projects going on, and it’s right next to my house, so it’s great to be a part of it.”
While working towards an NVQ Level 2 in Scaffolding, the pair will learn on-the-job alongside senior scaffolders.
Their apprenticeship is a hands-on programme that teaches the fundamentals of the scaffolding trade. It covers workplace safety, scaffolding structure erecting and dismantling, building methods, and construction technologies.
“We are very pleased to once again create employment opportunities through Apprenticeships,” said Mike Carr, managing director of Altrad NSG. For many years, Altrad NSG has employed Apprentices across its businesses, which has proven to be beneficial to the company as a whole, especially given our extremely high rate of skill retention once training is completed.
“Because of skill shortages, the labour market has been extremely difficult, and the use of apprenticeships is one solution to this problem.
“We have collaborated closely with our training providers (Training 2000 and Simian) to ensure that our Apprentices receive high-quality training in a supportive environment.
Altrad NSG is an equal opportunity employer that is also interested in developing people from the local community. I am delighted to see local apprentices beginning their careers with the company, and I wish David and Paul the best of luck in the future and welcome them on board.”
So far, 21 apprentices have been hired to work on the Mersey Gateway Project in office administration, accounting, information technology, traffic management, scaffolding, steel fixing, and general construction.
Merseylink has directly hired 12 apprentices, and the project’s subcontractors, which include Altrad NSG, Sword, Tarmac, and Adept 4, have hired 9 more.
“We are committed to providing local people with access to training opportunities that may help them secure future employment,” said Richard Walker, project director of Merseylink.
“Apprenticeships are a great way to accomplish this, and I’m thrilled that Altrad NSG has hired two local lads to work on the project with us. “I wish David and Paul the best in their new positions.”
The Mersey Gateway Bridge is set to open in the autumn of 2017.