A ‘Tarmacademy’ to train unemployed people in road laying is to be set up in Liverpool.
Kings Construction plans to open the centre – which would be the first of its type in the north west – and would support 1,000 trainees into jobs and apprenticeships over the next five years.
The aim is to tackle a shortage of qualified staff with the necessary skills to take advantage of an estimated £250 million of highways work taking place in the city over the next few years.
Tarmac company Cemex would also build an asphalt plant on the same site – saving time, money and helping the environment by cutting out the need to transport them to its base in Manchester which it has to do at the moment.
Trainees would gain necessary qualifications such as an NVQ in highways skills and reinstatement, as well as the necessary certification (cards) to secure employment with local businesses.
A report to the Cabinet on Friday 11th December is recommending the city council supports the firm to find a suitable site close to North Liverpool Docks on a 20 year lease which would provide training, apprenticeship and employment opportunities.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said:
“This is a really exciting and innovative opportunity for us to partner with the private sector and come up with a scheme which will get a significant number of people into work.
“There are around a quarter of a billion pounds of major highways infrastructure projects in the pipeline in the next few years as we tackle the backlog of road repairs and invest in improvements to the network. We must make sure that people from the city are best placed to get work on these projects.
“By creating an asphalt factory in the city we will also be helping the environment by making sure that the raw materials can be made ‘road ready’ on site rather than being transported to Manchester and back.”
In addition to the traineeships, the Tarmacademy would create 25 jobs for trainers and administrators while the Cemex plant would employ 20 people.
If the report is approved by Cabinet, the next stage would be to identify a suitable site and agree lease arrangements.