Dandara looks to encourage young people into construction with new recruits

Ryan Odlin

DANDARA is continuing its drive to encourage young people to forge careers in the construction industry with two new appointments.

With the ongoing skills shortage, the housebuilder said it is keen to help ‘foster the talents’ of school leavers and college and university graduates, with an extra 26,500 construction workers to be needed in Scotland by the end of 2025.

The firm has now appointed 25-year-old Ryan Odlin, who graduated with a degree in construction mangement from Robert Gordon University (RGU), as an assistant site manager, alongside Daniel Wisely, a 20-year-old RGU student who joined six months ago on placement as a site assistant.

Ryan said, “Although university gave me a good broad stroke knowledge, I had very little practical experience of being on site and the pandemic didn’t help. Since starting my training I have been shown every aspect of an assistant site manager’s job and I am really gaining confidence as time goes on. Dandara has been fantastic putting me through lots of courses, from general site safety to managing crane operations on site.

“I know other friends who have graduated and struggled to find jobs because they don’t have the right certifications, I am just so grateful to Dandara for giving me this opportunity. My ultimate dream is to go on to become a project manager with Dandara.”

Daniel added, “We were offered the chance of a simulated placement with the University but I really wanted to go out there and gain some real, practical experience on site, so  I contacted Dandara to ask if they had any openings as I had heard they were a great company to work with. I’ve learned a lot in such a short space of time working alongside site manager Peter Mackintosh who has been sharing his expertise with me. I now know a lot about the health and safety side of projects, which is so important to Dandara.”

Daniel is returning to university at the end of August and believes his time with Dandara has given him a ‘much greater’ understanding of construction management going into his 4th year studying. He added, “A few days on site are definitely worth more than months with my head stuck in a book!”

Dandara Aberdeen operations director, Austin McGuire, commented, “Encouraging young people into the industry is vitally important to safeguard Scotland’s economic growth – it’s not just about putting money into more training courses; companies have to be prepared to nurture recruits and give them the practical experience they need to thrive.

“At Dandara we have always had success with a ‘grow your own managers’ approach – we like training the best young people and giving them the career opportunities to develop within the business. I started with Dandara myself early in my career and have been with the business for 23 years now. It has been a very supportive company to work for.

“I know Ryan well – he is a very enthusiastic character and has been a tremendous asset to Dandara Aberdeen since he joined, I’m looking forward to seeing what he achieves in the years ahead!  Likewise, I am hearing great things about Daniel and it would be great to see him again when he finishes his course.”