Steel and cladding contractor shows commitment to developing the future workforce

Nicola Fraser and Lauren Moroney

AHEAD of National Apprenticeship Week, Aberdeenshire-based steel and cladding company KR Group has continued to demonstrate its commitment to developing young people.

The family business revealed it has more apprenticeship opportunities available for 2024 and a student from Abertay University is due to start an internship in May. Business director Nicola Fraser will also be volunteering again to conduct mock interviews with pupils at Aberdeenshire secondary schools to help prepare them for entering the world of work.

A significant achievement for the group and one of its employees came at the turn of the year, when graduate apprentice Lauren Moroney received news that she has been shortlisted for a British Education Award. Lauren was unaware of being nominated, but it has since been revealed that her achievements were recognised by a third-party scout for the awards.

The business and accounts coordinator from Newburgh is the only finalist from the north of Scotland in the Vocational category. Upon leaving school, Lauren joined KR Group and completed her modern apprenticeship in business and administration through NESCol which led her to a graduate apprenticeship in business management with Robert Gordon University.

She said, “My apprenticeship gave me a chance to consolidate my knowledge by applying the theoretical learning to a real work-based situation which makes more sense to me than having to make that choice between full time education or employment. I feel so passionate about young people choosing this route, that I have become an ambassador for Developing the Young Workforce. It’s so rewarding to go to schools and career fairs, speak to students and ignite the spark of interest in those considering a career in construction and even those who have never considered it.”

Lauren will travel to Manchester for the awards ceremony on February 9 alongside Nicola Fraser.  The awards are described as a unique event where young people, their families, and teachers, along with politicians, professionals, and celebrities come together to celebrate educational attainment.

Nicola added, “Lauren is a prime example of the success achievable through vocational training. I am a true believer that there is no wrong way to enter the world of work.  If you work hard, there will always be opportunities for change and growth.”

The business director was previously employed in the field of psychology and social work, which contributed to her passion for nurturing young people. KR Group has confirmed that 20% of its workforce are in ‘earn while you learn’ roles which include apprenticeships, traineeships, and graduate placements.

KR Group will be advertising opportunities for apprenticeships and internships from March onwards via the company website and social media channels.