More than a dozen businesses involved in the £1bn transformation of Manchester Airport have signed a pledge to recruit apprentices to work on the project.
A target of 150 apprenticeships has been written into principal contractor Laing O’Rourke’s legacy agreement on the scheme – designed to ensure it leaves a lasting and positive impact on local people and the economy.
So far, 34 apprentices are working on the project. Around 70% of the total workforce on the project live within a 35-mile radius of the site, and more than three quarters of subcontractors working on the transformation are also based within a 35-mile radius.
Work on the scheme will ramp up over the summer period, with more and more suppliers being appointed to work on the project.
A special apprenticeship event has been staged to ensure that new businesses joining the team are aware of the benefits apprenticeships can bring to their business as well as their importance on the Manchester Airport project.
Andrew Cowan, CEO of Manchester Airport, said: “As well as producing an airport that our passengers and partners can be proud of, it’s hugely important to us that our transformation programme creates lasting benefits to all of our region.
“As work continues at pace on the scheme, it’s great to see so many of our contractors signing up to our apprenticeship commitment.
“I look forward to seeing apprentices from a diverse range of backgrounds working on site in the weeks and months ahead.”
Laing O’Rourke project director, Bryan Glass said: “We’re wholly committed to this project having a lasting legacy in the local area.
“We’ve set ourselves ambitious targets and have made a positive start so far. Today has been about building on that and working with our supply chain to ensure they have the support and guidance they need to deliver apprenticeships through their work on their programme.”
He added: “The pledge is symbolic of that commitment, but we are also working with our supply chain to create formal legacy agreements like the one we ourselves have with Manchester Airports Group.”
The apprenticeship commitment comes on the back of news Manchester Airport is holding a special event to encourage job-seekers to access more than 600 roles that are currently available on site.
It also follows news in February that the first major phase of the £1bn transformation of Manchester Airport was completed, as the project marked its six-month milestone.