Professionals and pupils get hands-on at Kier

Kier Construction

Individuals from companies including hub South West, Martec Engineering and Skills Development Scotland joined  a trio of Marr College pupils to take part in a special ‘Apprentice for a Day’ event.

The initiative, organised by hub South West and Kier Construction as part of Scottish Apprentice Week, saw the group of individuals working on Kier’s Marr College site before moving to the Garnock Campus.

Brian McQuade, managing director of Kier Construction’s Scotland and northeast England business, said, “We hope that those taking part enjoyed their first taste of the construction sector and can take something back to their day jobs following a day with Kier.

“This event illustrates the importance of providing apprenticeship opportunities and demonstrates the positive role they can play in addressing the skills gap. Those taking part in today’s event are in the unique position of experiencing what it is like to develop one of Scotland’s state-of-the-art teaching and sporting facilities, which is to be provided for the local community.

“As well as taking part in apprenticeship schemes like this, we are committed to using locally-based suppliers and subcontractors across all our work with hub South West Scotland, helping to support economic growth in the area and provide employment and training opportunities for the people of South Ayrshire.”

Gary Gray, relationship accounts executive at Skills Development Scotland, who took part in the event, said, There is a huge amount of work being done to encourage more young people to consider a career in construction, and that involves employers, industry bodies and partners such as SDS.

“Events such as Scottish Apprenticeship Week are a great opportunity to show how a modern apprenticeship can open the door to a construction career, and it’s encouraging to see partners such as hub South West playing such a positive role in this respect.”

Charlotte McDonnell, Skills Academy development manager for hub South West, who also took part, said, “Apprentice for a Day was a fantastic event on which to collaborate with Skills Development Scotland and Kier Construction. Not only did the students get involved and help us support Scottish Apprenticeship Week, they also gained a diverse and genuine insight into the variation of trades available in the industry, both technical and practical.

“Addressing the skills gap is a real priority for hub South West and by working with local enterprises, schools and our many participants, we look to encourage more opportunities like this to coincide with some of the exciting state-of-the-art educational facilities we are developing. This was an invaluable learning experience for both the participating pupils and the facilitators.”