Euro MP to meet new rail apprentices

A Leicester MEP will meet young railway industry apprentices when she visits a new Great Central Railway project in Leicester tomorrow.

Glenis Willmott, who represents the East Midlands in the European Parliament, will visit Greenacres, The Sidings, off Red Hill Way, Leicester LE4 3EX at 10.00 am on Thursday 6 September.

The site, which has lain unused for four years, has recently been taken over by Great Central Railway and given a new lease of life, following an agreement with Leicester City Council.

The centre, which has already attracted considerable attention, houses a new restaurant as well as training facilities for railway industry apprentices.   17 have already started at the site and there are plans to increase the number to 32.

It is hoped that the site will offer huge potential for the future development of tourism in the area, but Glenis is particularly interested in the way the scheme will also involve training new apprentices in the railway industry.

Glenis Willmott said: “Youth unemployment is the scourge of the UK and of Europe more generally, so I’m looking forward to seeing how one scheme in Leicester is trying to provide more opportunities for young people.”

“The region and country desperately needs more attention given to the plight of young people.   Levels of youth unemployment are at record levels and if this is not addressed urgently, we will once again have a lost generation.”

Glenis will be met at the Greenacres site by Bill Ford, Managing Director of Great Central Railway, and Deputy City Mayor Rory Palmer.

Cllr Palmer said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming Glenis to Leicester again.  I know how interested she is in providing real opportunities for our young people and I hope she’ll be impressed with the plans now going ahead at Greenacres.”

Bill Ford said: “GCR is delighted to be working with Leicester City Council to develop Greenacres into a major tourist attraction, and we’re looking forward to showing our plans to our Euro MP.

“We’re very happy to welcome Vital Skills Training Academy who’ve taken on the lease of three of our units.  We strongly believe that the railway industry has a great future and the young apprentices will be part of it.”

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