To celebrate Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2016 Worksmart are sharing the achievements of our apprentice joiners James, Stephen, and Alex who have been learning their trade on campus but not only within the confines of the classroom.
The three are currently undertaking a CITB Modern Apprenticeship and were drafted in during the Summer of 2015 to complete refurbishments at the Dam Park Campus. The McLaughlin Construction led project saw the apprentices alongside their tradesmen install Optima 217 double glazed systems, an Optima Technishield fire screen, and Forza timber doors allowing them to build upon their skillset and expand their knowledge of complex construction systems. The work carried out by these apprentices is testament to the first-class training provided by Worksmart, as Project Manager and former Ayrshire College lecturer Alan Speirs explains: “Demountable partioning and glazed fire screen systems are specialised work and most apprentice joiners do not have the opportunity to carry out this type of work as it is beyond what would normally be covered in a standard joinery course.” He adds: “Worksmart are a platinum dealer of Optima Systems in the UK and specialise in architectural glazing therefore our apprentices receive the best training possible.”
Tradesmen rarely have the opportunity to see the final result of a project but in this instance the apprentices are ultimately the end user, they encounter their labour on a daily basis and can view how it fits into a real-life working environment. For lecturer Graham Gilbert this is significant as “the close links between students and employers in cases like this help to contextualise the learning site”.
The Modern Apprenticeship scheme offers individuals the best opportunity to break into their chosen industry, for apprentice Stephen Hart the scheme has allowed him to realise his ambition. Despite always being interested in construction he struggled to start out in the industry and went on to work in social care for twelve years. He says: “I have always enjoyed construction work and combining that with learning joinery and other skill sets, I wish this opportunity was there when I was 20.”