Young people from across the county have been given an insight into the wide range of career opportunities available in the construction industry.

A Highways England-led team delivering road improvements in the East of England met with teens at the Huntingdonshire Careers Fair, held at Wood Green animal shelter this week.

The event, part sponsored by Highways England, was aimed at 15-16 year olds who are at a critical point in making their career choice.

More than 600 young people attended and met a wide range of Highways England employees and contractors, to learn more about the opportunities and skills involved in developing and constructing road projects of all sizes.

Adam, a local student who attended the fair, said “I am looking into a career path in design or engineering and it was great to see the range of opportunities the A14 scheme offers. I am in my final year of A-Levels and I was particularly interested in the design portfolio and was able to discuss the possibility of gaining work experience with the possibility of an apprenticeship starting in August 2016.”

Barry Andrews, one of the Highways England project managers present at the fair, said “I was delighted to represent Highways England at the Huntingdonshire careers fair. This was a great opportunity to engage with the potential engineers, technical specialists, project managers, team executives and apprentices of tomorrow on behalf of Highways England.”

“I passionately believe that the young people within our community are the future in which we must invest now and I will continue to support such valuable and creditable endeavours.”

Kirstie Dawe, one of Highways England’s apprentices who also supported the event, continued “I am on the Business Administration Apprenticeship at Highways England. For me, going to the careers event at Wood Green was a great opportunity to encourage young people to consider a career at Highways England and make them aware of the variety of career paths available from apprenticeships to graduate schemes.”

Among the team present were also employees from Highways England’s supply chain and representatives from the £1.5bn A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon major project, which is due to start construction next year subject to statutory processes. The scheme is local to Huntingdon and is set to provide many career opportunities in the coming years.

Chris Taylor, Director of Complex Infrastructure at Highways England, who oversees the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon major project, said “Construction is a really dynamic industry to work in and offers a huge range of interesting career opportunities – from contract and commercial management, to archaeology and ecology, as well as the more obvious construction and engineering paths.”

“The Huntingdonshire Careers Fair gave us a great opportunity to meet young people and talk to them about some of the fantastic prospects on offer in their local area and across the country.”

“We are committed to using the local workforce and businesses as much as possible. As well as delivering much needed journey improvements, we hope to leave a lasting legacy by improving skills and employment opportunities in the communities we are working for.”

Transport Minister Lord Ahmad said “Having a skilled workforce is essential if we want to build a strategic road network fit for the future. That is why the government is committed to delivering on its ambition for 30,000 transport apprenticeships by 2020, by investing in our next generation.”

“We welcome this Highways England initiative which demonstrates the wide range of careers options available in transport for high calibre young people.”