Apprentices at the Midland Metro Alliance are celebrating a major step forward in their career after reaching the halfway point of their course.
Last autumn, the alliance, which is designing and building a number of Metro extensions on behalf of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), welcomed a cohort of new apprentices who work across its projects in office and on-site roles.
Six of the trainees are employed as track construction operative apprentices and are currently studying towards a bespoke light rail qualification which was developed by the MMA and leading organisations in the light rail industry back in 2018.
Reflecting on his experiences so far as a trainee at the MMA, Connor Mallen, who, like his colleagues is helping to deliver the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension, said: “Being an apprentice is all about hands-on experience which suits me and the way I like to learn. It is great to be able to put questions to more experienced colleagues and find out more about the job from them. Working on this Black Country Metro extension has given me the chance to get tickets to work on a variety of construction jobs. I feel I am picking up skills which will help me in my career going forward.”
Fellow track operative apprentice, Keith Munyoro, added: “When I was at school, I knew I wanted to get into engineering. The opportunity to work for the alliance has provided a chance for me to do this. After my apprenticeship, if possible, I want to stick with the MMA and move up to lead my own team and maybe even get into management.”
Dr Julie Nugent, Director of Skills and Productivity at West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), said: “It Is heartening to see local employers, like the MMA, embrace apprenticeships in order to attract and nurture new talent.”
Last month, the alliance’s head count was boosted by Nathan Grant, site support apprentice and Le’Sean Williams, engagement & skills support apprentice. The MMA also employs:
- Finley Brittle and Evans Addae, who are working as Assistant Quantity Surveyors whilst studying for a Degree Apprenticeship at the University of Wolverhampton’s School of Architecture and the Built Environment
- Sophie Yardley, Digital Marketing Assistant, who since joining the MMA in September passed a coding course and is now studying towards a Google Analytics qualification.
Commenting on the success of the current crop of MMA apprentices, Rose Rees, Head of Engagements and Skills, said: “It is great to see local young people gaining skills, knowledge and experience that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their working lives. I am proud that the Metro extensions are providing real opportunities in our region and has created a legacy by developing a multi-skill tramway construction apprenticeship.”
To celebrate the success of the current cohort of tramway construction apprentices, the MMA has released a video, edited by fellow apprentice Sophie, where they talk about how they are enjoying the opportunity of learning whilst they earn. You can view this video here.