The Isle of Wight Council and Ringway (working in partnership with VINCI Concessions on the PFI) have released more details about their initiative to provide university scholarships for Islanders undertaking a degree in civil engineering.
The scholarships are being made available as part of the contract under which Ringway undertake the Highways PFI – the largest engineering project ever undertaken on the Island.
In particular they meet the wider aim of ensuring the contract maximises employment opportunities for Islanders – a number of apprenticeships will also be provided during the contract.
Under the scholarships, four students are being offered £1,500 a year each to help with the costs of attending university. In addition, the students will be offered paid employment during term breaks to gain further hands-on experience and income.
When they graduate from university, they will be encouraged to develop their careers on the Island Highways PFI contract and will also be given further support to help gain additional professional qualifications.
The scholarship is available to students who are currently Island residents and have an offer from a UK university to commence a degree course in civil engineering this year.
David Gibby, PFI project director from Ringway said: “The Highways PFI will bring the Island’s highways network up to an unprecedented standard but we have always been keen to maximise the economic benefits of such a massive project as well.
“Part of this has been about developing opportunities for local suppliers to draw work from the project in the hope that this will help them expand.
“But equally important is using this massive inward investment – £260 million in government grant – to help people onto the employment ladder. We are committed to doing that at all levels, through initiatives such as the scholarships and the apprenticeships.”
Councillor Edward Giles, cabinet member responsible for highways and transport, said: “We are delighted to play our part in creating high quality job opportunities for Island students.
“All too often we hear that Islanders who graduate from university cannot find work here to return to. It is pleasing that the PFI will enable four graduates to return from university as a qualified civil engineer so they can then forge a career on the Island.”
More details about the scholarships – and the PFI project in general – can be found at the following : www.iwight.com/highways-pfi/civil-engineering-scholarship.asp website link.
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