Amey launches International Design Hub and announces technical apprentice programme

Amey apprentices, Ruth Gregory, Sean Daly and Rebecca Fasham with Birmingham City Council leader Mike Whitby and Amey CEO Mel Ewell at the launch of Amey’s new International Design Hub in Birmingham.

Public services provider Amey officially launched its new International Design Hub in Birmingham last night and pledged its commitment to helping local young people by launching a new technical apprentice programme.

The Hub, in Colmore Plaza, was opened by Amey chief executive Mel Ewell and the leader of Birmingham City Council, Mike Whitby, at a special event attended by the city’s senior business, political and public sector figures.

Over the next six weeks, consulting staff will be relocated to the Hub from Amey’s existing offices across the West Midlands.

In April, the company committed to creating a further 500 jobs as part of the plans for the new venture. Today, 250 have already been filled and a further 250 will be introduced over the next 2-3 years. The jobs are across a number of areas, including engineers, architects, town planners, CAD users and draftsmen.

As well as opening the International Design Hub, Amey used the event to launch a new apprenticeship programme, which it is piloting in the West Midlands.

The company, in conjunction with the Institute of Civil Engineers, is looking to recruit new apprentices, who will be based at the Design Hub. Amey is working with local schools and colleges to identify 16 to 24 year olds who would be interested in joining the programme.

Mel Ewell, chief executive of Amey, said: “We are extremely proud to be opening Amey’s International Design Hub here in Birmingham – chosen because of its highly skilled workforce and history of being a centre of excellence for the engineering profession.

“Amey is keen to invest in the future of engineering; therefore we are delighted to announce the launch of the Amey Technical Apprenticeship Programme. We will be recruiting 20 new technical apprentices over the next 12 months in the West Midlands, who can learn from the international expertise in this building.” 

Councillor Whitby, who was there as a special guest to launch the International Design Hub, said: “I am delighted that we are opening the International Design Hub and wholeheartedly welcome Amey’s Technical Apprenticeship Programme in particular. Taking on local young apprentices displays a commitment to more than just Birmingham as a global city but also an investment in our future.

“To open the International design hub, so soon after Mel and I made the announcement at MIPIM in Cannes in April, is testament to Amey’s dedication to the city of Birmingham.  Amey have displayed a confidence in Birmingham’s advantages as a city and their investment here vindicates our strategic vision to be known as a global business destination”.  

Colmore Plaza, which is owned by the Carlyle Group, is one of Birmingham’s most prestigious office developments. The 14-storey building recently achieved a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating for its sustainable credentials now it is partially occupied – the first building in Birmingham and one of only a handful in the country to achieve the industry standard.

Mark Harris, director and head of UK asset management at the Carlyle Group, said: “Welcoming such a high profile business as Amey comes at a significant time for Colmore Plaza, especially given the encouraging amount of interest currently being expressed in the building from other potential tenants, both large and small.  I am hopeful that we will be able to maintain the momentum we have achieved in lettings over the past couple of months into the New Year.

“We view Amey’s occupation as a great endorsement of both the unrivalled specification and central location of Colmore Plaza, particularly with the recent announcement of the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ accreditation. 

“The building’s sustainability translates into real cost efficiency that we are able to pass onto our tenants, along with the highly efficient floorplates which have led to Amey needing less space than in other conventional accommodation in the city.”



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