West Lothian construction firms join forces to deliver skills classes to youngsters

SCOTTISH construction businesses have teamed up to deliver a key initiative designed to encourage youngsters to explore careers in the industry.

The Build Your Future programme has been organised by the West Lothian Construction Forum and will see 60 second and third pupils from Armadale Academy participating in the pilot scheme.

Taylor Roofs, McIntyre Masonry, Newtown Renovations, Land Technology and J. Sives Surfacing will showcase their respective traditional skills on Tuesday, 30 January.

Taylor Roofs from Bathgate will demonstrate the art of roof slating, David N McIntyre of Bathgate firm McIntyre Masonry will deliver a session on stonemasonry, Jonathon Morrice of Edinburgh-based Newtown Renovations will focus on joinery/sash and case windows, while there will be a monobloc demonstration from Colin Smith of Land Technology & J. Sives Surfacing in the capital.

“It’s vital that we try our hardest to keep the traditional skills alive,” said Jamie Taylor, MD of Taylor Roofs and chairman of the West Lothian Construction Forum. “The idea behind this programme is that we give the youngsters an insight into construction and what a career in the industry might look for them.

“This is the first programme of its type in West Lothian and I would like to thank all the companies involved for agreeing to participate. All being well, we will have more businesses wanting to take part and the more that come on board, the better it is going to be for the young people of West Lothian.”

The Forum revealed it is committed to promoting the growth of West Lothian’s construction industry and helping local businesses overcome industry-wide challenges, including difficulty recruiting and rising costs.

Its vision is broken into three pillars: promoting the construction industry in general, and more specifically, to young people as an exciting career option; encouraging collaboration between West Lothian businesses; and supporting the training and upskilling of existing employees.

Mr Taylor added, “I am passionate about promoting the growth of our industry through openly sharing good practise and upskilling, and believe that with the backing of the members of the Forum, we can have a positive impact on the future of West Lothian’s construction industry. The Build Your Future programme is going to be a significant step towards that and the plan is to run more such days going forward as we collaborate with more businesses in the sector.”

John McKinney, Scottish Traditional Building Forum co-ordinator, added, “The aim of Build Your Future is to raise the profile of the many and diverse careers in construction to young people throughout Scotland. Not many young people have the opportunity to receive insights into construction to help them make their career decisions and Build Your Future is delivered to give young people that insight to help them in their career choices.”