A dozen apprentices have been taken on to help transform Sheffield’s streets in a major highways project.
The group of trainees, aged from 16 to 24, fought off competition to secure contracts with Sheffield Council’s contractor Amey.
They will work on the Streets Ahead project, which is upgrading roads, pavements, street lights and other structures across the city, and is the biggest scheme of its kind.
Joe Poulton, aged 18, will work in arboriculture - the management of trees - which is a major challenge in leafy Sheffield.
He said: “I was attracted to an apprenticeship in arboriculture as it’s a good industry to be in and really good for progression.
“It’s also an outdoor role which I like.
“I’m already learning a lot and I’m looking forward to a long-term career in arboriculture.
“The more I learn the more I enjoy it. I like that I can learn the skills I need while on the job, but the theory behind it all at college.”
Kyle Leach, aged 16, will work on developing signs.
He said: “An apprenticeship in this interested me as I have a passion for engineering and an interest in graphics.
“I also wasn’t interested in staying at school, I liked the idea of learning on the job and starting on the road to my career, while getting paid at the same time.”
The apprentices will work in a variety of roles for the contractor while studying for NVQs at Sheffield College.
They will also work towards gaining the Duke of Edinburgh’s Business Gold award.
Sheffield Council said the appointments continued its commitment to tackling unemployment.
Council leader Julie Dore said: “Not only is the Streets Ahead project making the streets of Sheffield better and safer, it’s creating jobs and apprenticeship opportunities for young people across the city.
“The young people who are taking on these apprenticeship roles are the ones that will deliver our future highway services, and therefore investing in them now and putting them on the road to success is beneficial both to them and to Sheffield.”
Coun Jack Scott, cabinet member for highways, added: “We need young people with the right skills, and apprenticeships are a key part of creating a future workforce. We are pleased to welcome these young people.”