Press release 06/11/1998 00:00 CET

Kvaerner Construction became the first major construction company to sign-up to the government’s New Deal initiative when its chief executive, Keith Clarke, committed to create up to 30 apprenticeships each year for the young and long-term unemployed.

Mr Clarke signed an agreement with the Rt Hon Andrew Smith MP, Minister for Employment, committing Kvaerner Construction’s specialist companies, which already employ 150 apprentices, to offer apprenticeships under the New Deal initiative and to teach specialist construction trades such as structural steel work, mechanical and electrical engineering, ground engineering and specialist plasterwork, joinery and steelwork.

The signing ceremony took place at Great Marlborough Street in central London where Kvaerner Trollope & Colls is currently working on a £26 million combined office, residential and retail scheme for the client Asticus. Part of the building has been pre-let to Carlton Television for use as its new headquarters.

Keith Clarke said at the signing: "Kvaerner Construction fully supports the New Deal initiative and our structural steel company, Kvaerner Cleveland Bridge, has already appointed three apprentice steel erectors, while more of our specialist construction companies are actively working with job centres all over the country to recruit the young and long-term unemployed into suitable jobs within our company."

Mr Smith added: "I am delighted that Kvaerner Construction will be recruiting New Dealers as part of its existing apprenticeship scheme. I am pleased to say that jobs in construction are proving to be attractive to New Deal recruits. The construction industry has a key role to play in the New Deal in providing the young and long-term unemployed with sustainable jobs. This is further good news for the young and long-term unemployed."

New Deal is part of the Government’s Welfare to Work strategy. It has been created to help unemployed people into work by closing the gap between the skills employers want and the skills people can offer. It is aimed at unemployed youngsters between 18 and 24-years-old who have been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for six months or more and the long-term unemployed.

ENDFor further information contact:Cheryl Eaton, PR Manager - 01923 423 030Kris Birkett, Press Officer - 01923 423 833