Apprentices on the job at M74

M74 Extension

26 Nov 2009

by Ewan Fergus, Evening Times

Fifteen young people have started on the road to career success helping to build Glasgow's M74 extension link.

Scottish Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson formally welcomed the youngsters, who are mainly from Glasgow and South Lanarkshire, on the M74 Modern Apprenticeship scheme.

They started work experience on the project last year through the M74 Employability Partnership. Now they will have the opportunity to make the most of this experience as they start out on the Interlink M74 JV-led Modern Apprenticeship scheme, which allows them to become time-served' apprentices within two years.

The new five-miles stretch of road will continue the M74 from the Fullarton Road junction, near Carmyle, to the M8 west of the Kingston Bridge.

It is hoped the new road will open in 2011, at a cost of £445million.

Mr Stevenson said: "The M74 completion project is playing a vital role in providing employment for the construction industry in a period of economic difficulty, around 900 jobs at the project's peak.

"Supporting and developing young people is a key part of this and I am delighted with the ways in which Interlink has developed training opportunities for them and ensured their training will continue beyond the M74 completion project.

"These apprenticeships will provide the candidates with a strong starting point for their careers and the valuable experience and transferable skills they will gain will stand them in excellent stead for the future.

"Transport Scotland's work alone supports more than 25% of the civil engineering contracting sector's workload throughout the country."

"Access to skilled employees is key to the success of our major infrastructure projects and investing in our people through programmes such as the Modern Apprenticeships is essential, not only to meet current needs, but to ensure continuing sustainable economic growth for Scotland."

The scheme, which has been developed by contractor Interlink M74 JV in conjunction with Construction Skills, will offer employment opportunities for all 15 involved.

Councillor George Ryan Glasgow City Council's executive member for business and the economy, said: "I am proud of the role we played - along with Interlink, the Glasgow East Regeneration Agency and our local government partners - in establishing the M74 Employability Partnership.

"The project has given these young people the skills and opportunity to secure apprenticeships on the biggest engineering project in the country and support from Interlink in forging long and successful careers in a great industry."

David Welsh, Interlink M74 Joint Venture Project Director, added: "This is a fantastic day for the civil engineering industry because employers have been working for a number of years to put these apprenticeships in place. All candidates will be registered with Scottish Building Apprenticeship Council.

"Interlink is delighted to show faith in the future of the industry and the young people of Glasgow and surrounding areas."

The apprentices will be the first on the scheme to cover key construction roles such as formwork (the temporary or permanent structures into which concrete or similar materials are poured), steelfixing, plant operation and general construction.

They will serve their time with one of the four joint venture partners and remain there to complete their apprenticeship after the extension is open.

The extension project is a part of the Scottish Government's current £2.5billion programme being spent on transport infrastructure over the next three years.

Transport Scotland says completing the M74 to the M8 will provide significant benefits to Scotland and the country's businesses by offering a quicker, safer and more efficient route to get their goods to market.

For more information on the project see the website:

To find out more on Modern Apprenticeships see:

Reproduced with the permission of The Herald and Times Group.

  • A section of Glasgow's M74 extension link

Web links (opens in a new window)
M74-M8 Interchange
  • M74 - M8 interchange