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16/10/2012 - Lighting the way for apprenticeships

20 young people are set to start a new career path as they begin an apprenticeship in the county council's highways department.

Six people were chosen by the county council from over 125 applicants to start a streetlighting apprenticeship with GEN II in September.  A further 12 Construction Highways apprenticeships and two Business Administration apprenticeships are also set to be recruited.

The new recruits will work across various areas in the county, with one streetlighting apprentice in each district being trained at the GEN II Carlisle, Furness and Lillyhall Training Centres. As well as on the job training, the apprentices will all receive a nationally recognised qualification at the end of the 42 month scheme.

The apprentices are undertaking an advanced Electrical Apprenticeship with a specialist qualification in streetlighting.  As a new scheme, the county council highways department and GEN II will be installing training rigs in the GEN II training centres to enhance the electrical skills of the 6 apprentices ensuring they are work-ready on completion in the training centre.

Cllr Liz Mallinson, Cabinet member for organisational development, said: "This is a fantastic scheme, not only for the recruits who will have the opportunity of employment and education, but also for the county council's highways team who will be able to get that extra support and share their own valuable skills.

"In the current climate it's more difficult than ever for young people to enter employment and I'm thrilled that we are able to provide them that opportunity. We could very well be seeing future engineers in these new recruits."

Cllr Tony Markley, Cabinet Member for highways, said: "Our highways teams on the ground work around the clock to ensure that the county's roads network is as safe as possible, and having the extra resilience in place to support that will be a great boost for the county council. These young apprentices will be a fresh challenge for our organisation and we hope that they will offer enthusiasm and new thinking to the job."
The training is part of Cumbria County Council's partnership with GEN II and Kendal College, which has seen the delivery of over 100 apprenticeships for the County Council in past 12 months.
GEN II's Chief Operating Officer, Paul Storey, said "we are delighted to welcome the new learners onto the streetlighting apprenticeship programme. The apprenticeships are testament to partnership working ensuring we can provide local people with the necessary skills to meet current and future industry demand.
"We are confident that the young people starting with us will become highly competent streetlighting engineers within the county and have successful careers ahead of them."

Media enquiries to Charlotte Thompson 01228 226325 
For general enquiries to Cumbria County Council's communications team contact or call 01228 226338/ 221008/ 226601