26 October 2023 | Our Work | Skills

View from the top: The Highways Maintenance Academy

While Paula is taking some well deserved leave this week, I’m taking the opportunity to share some of the progress we’ve made with the new Highways Maintenance Academy at Salford City College.

It was a proud moment for the LCRIG team last week, as the cabin we purchased and donated for the students’ outdoor practical area was delivered and installed on site. The first cohort of students will be starting next week, and myself and Keely, our Relationship Manager will be going out to see the site and meet the new students.

What’s been achieved in the short space of time since we first sat down with the team at Salford City College Group in March has been amazing, and has been made possible through collaboration and support from organisations across the sector. For those of you who attended Strictly Highways earlier this month, you may have seen Allan Milne’s presentation, where he talked about setting up the Highways Maintenance Academy and future plans. One piece of information that really made me appreciate what had been achieved was when Allan shared that the cost to create the Highways Maintenance Academy was in the region of £120k, but that around £90k of this cost had been donated by organisations from the sector, through either donated materials or work done on the site.

This whole project really wouldn’t have been possible without the collaboration from the sector, and we’d like to thank all of the organisations who have been involved.

The support for Salford City College Group won’t end here though. LCRIG will be a member of the Employer Curriculum Board, and will be supporting the success of the Highways Maintenance Academy and the students who will be enrolling for an apprenticeship in future years. Salford City College plan to recruit 144 new highways apprentices over the next 5 years. Whilst this may be small numbers, when we look at the national skills gap our sector faces, the successful collaborative effort that has been seen in Salford is something that can be replicated in other areas of the country.

I’m looking forward to following the progress of the new students at Salford and to sharing future plans with you for the Highways Maintenance Academy.

Thank you to all of the organisations who have supported the Highways Maintenance Academy: