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TRAINING FIRM IN RAIL JOBS SCHEME; Wirral Waters link will provide apprenticeships.

Byline: NEIL HODGSON

A TRAINING centre to deliver young talent for the rail industry has been created as part of developer Peel Group's pounds 4.5bn Wirral Waters scheme.

Haydock-based Silver Track Training has started the recruitment process for 100 apprenticeship places for 16-24-year-olds, paying up to pounds 60 a week,on its new programme in Birkenhead's Faraday House.

Silver Track's pounds 115,000 investment will also create eight full-time jobs.

A disused railway line running along the southern boundary of the docks will be used for the training site which also includes indoor track, points and crossings for apprentices to work on.

Silver Track says the rail industry employs more than 159,000 staff, but a large portion of these are aged over 45 which increases the need to develop a rail industry workforce of the future.

Bidston councillor Harry Smith said: "Silver Track's apprenticeship is an excellent scheme aimed at helping individuals to gain the qualifications required for long-term jobs in the rail industry.

"I was very pleased to enable them to meet relevant Wirral Council officers and also Peel staff to get the project up and running."

Silver Track managing director Mark Argent added: "These young adults need to be able to take advantage of projects such as this, as it will help them to realise that a rewarding career is still a possibility for them.

"Many of our apprentices are now in employment with leading rail companies as a direct result of their training. They are earning as much as pounds 11 an hour as well as taking the first steps to a long career in railway engineering."

Peel Group development manager Richard Mawdsley said: "When we launched Wirral Waters four years ago we recognised the need to help raise skill levels in and around the docks and to provide opportunities for young adults.

"We've been told at various public events we've hosted that 'skills improvement' is important to the people of Birkenhead - it also helps Peel to attract new employers to the area. Wirral Waters is all about trying to create new job opportunities that local people can access."
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 15, 2010
Words:354
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