Amey's Work Tackling Youth Unemployment Receives Royal Seal Of Approval

11 January 2012
A small gathering of people chatting.
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Local firm Amey, which is headquartered at the Oxford Science Park, has celebrated the success of its Apprenticeship Academy and its partnership with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) with a visit from HRH The Earl of Wessex.



Amey staged a workshop aimed at tackling youth unemployment which was attended by Prince Edward, business leaders from across the UK and 30 of its current apprentices.

Guests including Lord Digby Jones, as well as representatives from the Saïd Business School, Oxfordshire County Council and Nielsen discussed how to support young people’s career prospects and encourage greater participation in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at a dedicated ‘round table’ event. 

Amey currently employs 120 apprentices aged between 18 and 23, which represents 1 per cent of its workforce.  Amey aims to double this figure to 2 per cent by the end of 2012. The company operates an Apprenticeship Academy, which offers young people the opportunity to study at local colleges and gain professional qualifications while carrying out paid work for two to three years.  Amey is one of only seven companies in the UK to which offers young people the chance to undertake The Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award as part of its required training.
Amey has been a DofE Gold Partner since 2008, but has been involved with the charity for over 10 years. 

HRH The Earl of Wessex said: “The current environment is very challenging for young people, so it’s important they try to make themselves more attractive to employers. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is highly valued by business because they know it helps to develop more rounded individuals.” 

Mel Ewell, Chief Executive of Amey, said: “With youth unemployment at record levels of over 1 million, as a responsible employer, Amey is doing everything it can to help young people get through what is a very challenging jobs market. 

“Amey is proud to be working with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to help young people fulfil not only their professional potential but also their personal potential.”

Peter Westgarth, Chief Executive of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, said:  “Our charity has bold ambitions to double the number of young people from all walks of life benefitting from their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and this innovative partnership with Amey is a real step towards that goal.  It is a tough time to be a young person in the UK with competition for jobs and training at an all-time high.  We know that the DofE develops the skills young people need to get into work, and we are delighted that Amey has committed to helping young people improve their life chances across the UK through the DofE”.

In addition, Amey recruits up to 100 graduate trainees per year across two dedicated programmes - Leadership and Development.  Amey’s Graduate Programme was listed in the JobCrowd’s 2011 Top Companies For Graduates To Work For index, in recognition of how well the company looks after and values its graduates, as well as offering flexibility in career development.  

The company also supports its employees with its award-winning Talent Tracker Programme which identifies individuals with the skills to progress to more senior, critical roles within the organisation.

Amey has also won six national awards for its HR commitment including the overall award and the ‘Building HR Capability’ category at the Chartered Institute of Personal Development (CIPD) Awards.

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