Amey and the DofE launch road worker safety project

24 February 2016
Image of man in PPE, looking at a notice board.

Birmingham City Council’s highways partner, Amey, has launched a volunteering initiative with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE), encouraging school pupils in the city to raise awareness of the hazards road workers face on a daily basis.

Over 110 young pupils across Birmingham have signed-up to take part in Project RADAR (Raising Awareness of Dangers to Amey Roadworkers), a 13-week bespoke programme that will contribute towards their Bronze DofE Award.

An Oxford University study ranked highways maintenance as the 16th most hazardous occupation in the UK, while a survey released by the RAC Foundation in 2007 found 80% of road workers have been physically or verbally abused by motorists. The young students participating in the RADAR initiative have been tasked with designing and developing a highways road safety campaign to help reduce incidents of careless driving and violence, as well as raise public awareness of the value that Amey road workers bring to the Birmingham community in helping to create a safer environment for everyone.

The project will culminate in a competition, where the winning team will be announced by Trustee of the DofE Charity, HRH The Earl of Wessex, to find the best campaign which will be rolled out in the city by Amey.

This local project forms part of Amey’s 14-year national partnership with the DofE Charity, which will contribute to helping 400,000 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds take part in their DofE over the next five years, thereby improving the life chances and employability of young people across the UK.

Following Project RADAR’s success, it is hoped similar volunteering programmes will be developed for other local communities Amey works in.

Keith Bennett, Sector Director responsible for Amey’s Highways service in Birmingham, said: “We are very proud of our local partnership with the DofE and are happy to be supporting this volunteering initiative. We are looking forward to reviewing the ideas the young people come up with and working with the competition winners to highlight the risks faced by our employees out on the roads.” 

Independent research commissioned by the DofE Charity has shown that 84% of young people who achieved their DofE Award developed enhanced organisational skills and 62% felt that the DofE helped them to make a positive difference to their local community.

Phil Brown, Regional Director of the DofE in Central England, said: “I am delighted that so many young people are taking part in this valuable project in Birmingham. The DofE helps prepare young people for the world of work and this project is giving young people a great opportunity to develop their critical thinking and communication skills, whilst understanding the issues faced by Amey staff on a daily basis.”

The judging and award ceremony for Project RADAR in Birmingham will take place in May 2016.