Female joinery apprentices make history at New College Lanarkshire

THREE young women have become the first female joinery apprentices to start Modern Apprenticeship training at New College Lanarkshire.

Hollie McArthur, Sarah Healy and Helena Montague landed apprenticeships after completing introductory courses in construction at the Motherwell Campus.

All three have now embarked on the first year of a four-year training programme with Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), making them the first female joinery apprentices to undertake the training in the college’s 13-year partnership with CITB.

Hollie McArthur (17), from Coatbridge, recently started a job as an apprentice joiner with housebuilder Barratt Homes. She said, “I think there were around 100 applicants for the apprenticeship scheme – I’m actually really proud of myself to have got it. My interest in joinery started in school – I really liked woodwork and I was quite good at it.”

Sarah Healy (19), who lives in Shotts, and Helena Montague (22), who lives in Motherwell, have started apprenticeships with Newhouse-based property maintenance company Timetra. Sarah said, “I was ecstatic to get the apprenticeship – the work placement that I did with Timetra as part of the pre-apprenticeship course definitely helped. I hope that they saw that I worked hard and got on with whatever they asked me to do. I love seeing the finished work in joinery – it’s a great feeling seeing something that I’ve done that is going to last for a long time.”

Helena added, “The pre-apprenticeship course at the college gave us a taster of bricklaying and painting and decorating as well, but it was in joinery that I felt most confident. I’m absolutely buzzing and I hope to make a career out of this – my goal is to one day have my own business. I’m so proud to be one of the first girls to do a joinery apprenticeship at the college – it feels like we’re flying the flag!”

Danny Shearer, assistant head of faculty for engineering & automotive commented, “I am delighted to welcome these new apprentices who have progressed from our full-time construction pre-apprenticeship and Females into Construction programmes. For all of our new apprentices, this is a great step towards careers in the construction industry.”

Ian Hughes, CITB Scotland strategic director said. “It’s great to see new learners starting their career in construction, and particularly to welcome the first women joinery apprentices for New College Lanarkshire – a historic first.”