The redevelopment of Middlesbrough railway station is helping local people with more than just improved transport links – by taking on young people and helping them on the track to successful careers.
The £34million project, supported by a £22.5million investment from the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority, has seen the completion of an expanded platform to accommodate LNER’s new Azuma trains for its Middlesbrough to London service later this year. Further works include major customer service improvements, including opening up the dilapidated station undercroft to provide a new entrance.
One person who has benefitted from the scheme is Yarm resident Oliver Mash, 22, a recent recruit to Story Contracting, who is being supported to achieve his ambitions for a career in engineering.
Oliver is currently undertaking a Degree Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering at Teesside University and is now working full-time for the duration of the scheme for Story so he can master his trade and earn while learning.
He has been shadowing qualified engineers to learn how and why things are done on a building site, and get a deeper, hands-on insight into the world of engineering.
Oliver said: “After working for a design consultancy for three years prior to my traineeship, I am excited to be more involved with the construction processes and seeing projects evolve from start to finish.
“In a couple of years’ time, I would like to have a solid foundation of knowledge which I can continue to improve, alongside my work and my studies.”
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Across all of the transformative projects we’re driving forward across our region, we’re putting local people from Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool front-and-centre to make sure they can take advantage of the good-quality, well-paid jobs that are being created.
“Oliver’s story is a fantastic example of how the investments we are making, whether that’s upgrading our railway stations or breathing new life into the former Redcar steelworks, are benefitting young people and putting more money in their pockets.
“Young people have been some of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, and programmes like these make sure they have the support and gain the skills they need to take advantage of the huge amount on jobs that are being created across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, creating a brighter future for our young people.
“I wish Oliver all the best in his studies and his future career.”
Story Contracting’s Contracts Manager, Chris Sidwell, said: “It is imperative that we invest, develop and nurture young talent in the regions we work in. We have been extremely lucky to have the likes of Oliver working in our business, bringing diversity of thought, enthusiasm and new skills which enhance the business as a whole.
“Through our partnerships with universities such as Teesside University, we ensure our trainees are given the best academic foundations to assist their ongoing development.”