A new academy to train apprentices to work on the £1.5 billion A14 bypass – Britain’s biggest road upgrade – has been officially opened by Roads Minister John Hayes.
The Highways Academy will train 129 new apprentices and graduates during the A14 upgrade works, and is run by Huntingdon-based West Anglia Training Association (WATA).
Highways England is investing in talent, and the courses will provide road construction and maintenance training to help deliver not only the A14, but support the Government’s record road investment up and down the country over the coming years.
Roads Minister John Hayes said:
“The A14 bypass is a massive road upgrade, a vital road for Cambridgeshire, and will drastically improve journeys, making them quicker, safer and more reliable for motorists.
“We are spending a record £15 billion on improving our roads and it is only right this not only benefits motorists, but also provides people with jobs and skills they need for the future. These apprentices are helping build the largest road upgrade in Britain, they can be justly proud.”
The Highways Academy has been developed in close collaboration with a number of partners including Highways England’s A14 team and Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership and is part of a long-term vision to support the increased investment in road infrastructure.
Jackie Hall, interim Chief Executive for WATA, said:
“The Highways Academy provides a unique combination of a realistic highway environment supported by dedicated workshop and classroom facilities to help individuals gain the practical skills and qualifications to support growing demand for employees across the regional and beyond. WATA is working with employers, schools, colleges and partners to ensure we all work together to deliver this key highways project to support economic growth.”
Gerard Smith, legacy manager for the A14 project, added:
“The Highways Academy will be crucial to provide young people the skills they need to work on roads projects and maintenance, including the A14. We are delighted this hard work is coming to fruition and look forward to welcoming apprentices from the WATA Highways Academy into our teams soon.”