Apprentice Trio Signs Up at Riverside North

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Three Bedford College students have become the latest people to benefit from the opportunities being created as part of the new £36M development that will deliver a new town centre for Bedford.

Carlan Clarke and Zain Aslam, both 17, and 16 year old Lee Bass have all signed up to become apprentice bricklayers on the 3.6 acre Riverside North scheme that will bring new homes, shopping and leisure facilities for local residents, as well as a new bridge for pedestrians and cyclists, to the town.

The trio has been snapped up by GRT Group, a subcontractor to construction firm Bouygues UK, which is building the new development. Bouygues UK is part of the same group of companies as Bouygues Development which, along with Coplan Estates, is responsible for the Riverside North project.

Former Redborne Upper School pupil, Lee, who lives in Flitwick, said he was keen to get involved as an apprentice because he wanted to be able to earn while he was learning on the job.

His comments were echoed by Carlan, who added: “I want to be independent, financially secure and to produce high quality work.”

Zain, who lives in Putnoe and studied at Plackgate High School in Blackburn said he was interested in becoming an apprentice because of his interest in bricklaying – and because he wanted to gain experience to help him in his future career.

Bouygues UK’s Regional Managing Director, Mikel Berrebi, welcomed Carlan, Lee and Zain to the project, saying: “The construction industry needs more people working in the industry: it’s that simple. And one of the best ways to try out a career is as an apprentice, where you get to study towards qualifications and gain useful, practical experience as well as a real insight into the day job. Our Community Engagement Manager, Liz Jeffs, has been working hard to establish relationships with the college, as well as local schools and the university, so we can help more students to understand how our industry works; and how the education they receive could one day help them to deliver new homes and facilities like we are doing here at Riverside North.

“We’re also grateful for the support of Graham Paxton, who owns GRT Group, and is himself a former Bedford College student. He makes a point of taking on apprentices so he can give something back to the college and the industry.

“We’re looking forward to having Carlan, Lee and Zain on site and to help them develop their future careers within the construction industry.”