Eight newly-hired apprentices from The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) have begun their careers working on some of the UK’s biggest rail projects.
Construction and engineering company VGC Group agreed to take on the group of apprentices after they completed a Pre-Apprenticeship Level 2 Diploma in Rail Track Engineering Maintenance at the College.
Pre-Apprenticeships are 12-15 week courses that offer a fast-track to your chosen career. They are a stepping stone to Apprenticeships and prepare students for work by providing them with the essential skills and experience needed in their chosen industry.
VGC Group is one of the largest suppliers of workers and services to the UK’s construction and engineering industries, with divisions in roads and bridges, airports, nuclear facilities, utilities and mainline and underground rail.
New apprentice David Williams, 19, said: “Getting a place on the Apprenticeship scheme feels really good. I’ve always been interested in railway engineering and wanted to get on a railway apprenticeship for a long time.
“This is a really big deal. It’s a huge opportunity to work on some massive rail projects, which will be great for my experience.”
Josiah Narkwa,19, who was also hired by VGC Group, added: “Apprenticeships give you better training in the skills you need to do the job and you get to work on real life projects. What you put in, you get out.
“I can’t wait to get out there and start working. Hopefully this will be the start of really good career for me.”
Nick Wells, Labour Manager at VGC Group, visited the College to interview the group pre-apprentices earlier this month before confirming eight had been offered Apprenticeships with the company.
He said: “I’ve been very impressed by the depth and breadth of learning experiences offered by the college. The apprentices have been really lucky to get such excellent training. It is the best I’ve ever seen, and has obviously given them a thorough preparation for their working careers.
“Not only have they been given access to qualifications which will give them an excellent start on site, they’ve also been given skills which will set them up for life in general.
“Having met all the apprentices, I am delighted with their attitude and I know they will fit in well on site and become a really good part of the VGC team.”
VGC Group expects to take on more apprentices from the College after also meeting the latest group of pre-apprentices, who began their 10-week training programme at the end of September.
Acknowledging VGC’s stringent selection criteria, Jackie Chapman, Director of Employability and Employer Engagement at CONEL, said: “I am delighted that these apprentices are starting their careers with a company that offers support and long-term career opportunities for its people.
“This is an example of a great partnership between employers and CONEL. We designed our Pre-Apprenticeship programme based on the skills needs within the industry, and we’re pleased with the opportunities it has given these young people.
“We look forward to this partnership expanding as the rail projects across the UK continue to develop.”
- Last Updated: 21 December 2016