Mears, in partnership with North Lanarkshire Council, has announced plans to take on 20 new apprentices this week, providing young people in the area with outstanding career opportunities in a range of trades and skills.
The successful applicants will get the opportunity to start a career repairing and maintaining thousands of tenanted properties and public buildings in their home towns.
The news comes during Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2021 –hosted by Skills Development Scotland - when organisations across the country come together to share the value that apprenticeships bring not only to the individuals themselves but to employers and the wider Scottish economy.
North Lanarkshire Council’s (NLC) vision is to ensure its plans support the local economy by creating new jobs for residents. This commitment from Mears in partnership with NLC is a testament that this vision is being realised, with more to come.
The partnership between Mears and North Lanarkshire Council to create new skilled jobs in the local area has become even more important during the past year. A recent report has indicated that although the Scottish economy faces unparalleled economic challenges due to Covid-19, work-based learning through apprenticeships are key to recovery
Barry Duncan, Managing Director of Mears Scotland LLP said,“Each year we are committed to building on our self-delivery capacity through sustained investment in local talent. We had earmarked 11 apprenticeships for 2020 but this was hampered by the pandemic. This was a disappointment for everyone, however working in partnership with North Lanarkshire Council we are pleased to announce a new intake programme for 2021 with an increase to 20 trade and modern apprenticeships. We want to give something back to the local community and it is a privilege to be in a position where we can create employment opportunities at this time.
“Our vision for North Lanarkshire is long-term and apprenticeships are an integral part of Mears’ philosophy. By offering people a first step on the career ladder we demonstrate our commitment toimproving neighbourhoods, creating opportunities for local people and developing the next generation of our workforce to the very highest standards.
I am proud to say that with these 20 new roles Mears have created 170 apprenticeships with North Lanarkshire Council, with many going onto higher education. Life may start as an apprentice, but with a high proportion of our most senior people starting their working life as an apprentice, the opportunity to develop and grow is huge. We look forward to welcoming our new starts and helping them on their journey.
Des Murray, Chief Executive of North Lanarkshire Council,said: “It’s thanks in no small part to the strength of our joint response to the coronavirus pandemic over the last 12 months, that a further 20 apprenticeships are planned as part of the Mears strategic partnership. This is double the number of young people who have been recruited than in previous years.
Our lives are shaped by the decisions we make. In my experience, choosing an apprenticeship can transform your life. They provide opportunity, training, experience, and reward effort.
"They enable choice and create prospects that can last a lifetime. My advice to all young people is that if you see such an opportunity - take it, shape it and make it your own.”
The Strategic Partnership Housing and Non-Housing Repairs and Maintenance Contract provides employment for 500 people across North Lanarkshire. This sees teams of highly skilled tradespeople and office staff from Mears Group, in partnership with North Lanarkshire Council, support and carry out the maintenance and repair of 36,700 tenanted properties and 1,200 public buildings.
 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ‘Strengthening Skills in Scotland’ 2020.