The Thoughts of a Worksmart Apprentice


Worksmart Contracts is always delighted to shout about the achievements of our apprentices. What better time to do so than Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2021.

All this week, companies across Scotland have been celebrating their young apprentices and highlighting their achievements. We’re very lucky to have such a talented and ambitious group of young men and women who come to Worksmart as apprentices and work their way up.


22-year-old Mackenzie Mackie is an apprentice joiner with Worksmart and has been generous enough to spare some time and write about his life as a Worksmart apprentice.

Over to you, Mackenzie:

My names Mackenzie Mackie, I’m 22 years old and i’m currently in my second year of my carpentry and joinery apprenticeship. My apprenticeship lasts for 4 years and time is flying by.

At school I always studied the ‘hands-on’ side of things from CDT, woodwork, graphic communication, product design and computing. These are the subjects I remember enjoying a lot more than others, so I’m glad I’m in this line of work, despite leaving school and not advancing in any other further education surrounding these topics.

I’ve always been highly interested in the creative side of things. I create a lot online for a podcast I do with my friends, as well a lot of physical media. I grew up around joiners, so it’s not something entirely new to me, but when I was younger I never saw myself doing it.

Worksmart’s Operations Manager Gary Robertson helps out a lot with my families dance company and would always ask me if it was something I was interested in. Off the cuff one day, he told me Worksmart were hiring apprentices and asked if it was something I’d be interested in.

Not thinking too much of it, I forwarded my CV over and waited for a reply. I didn’t think much of because I didn’t think I’d actually be lucky enough to be asked to meet for an interview. But thankfully it all went well and here I am one year into my apprenticeship.

I find it difficult to enjoy something when I’m constantly doing the same things everyday, but with Worksmart every day is different. Seeing new faces and learning each day on the sites or at college keeps me interested.

This apprenticeship has taught me a lot of skills and plenty about myself too. I enjoy the work and love my college course so I’m very excited for what the future brings. My main interest is the graphic design side of things, using CAD to design 3D models of products or technical drawings. Because of this I’m thinking in future maybe advancing on to complete my advance craft and trying my hand at a university course to become an architect.

Although it’s all quite far ahead in the future, it’s something I’ve occasionally thought about. I also believe it’s important to have a goal to aim towards in life. Another goal I’ve thought about is owning my own unit in either Falkirk or Stirling and opening an arcade. Games are my biggest passion and I’ve thought a lot about designing my own store/arcade.

Like I said though, all of these are thoughts for the future. Right now I’d be lucky to cut a piece of timber square!

Check out our other blogs

Follow us on: TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

We are here to help.


M&E Contractor Joins Worksmart Group


Worksmart Contracts are delighted to announce the creation of a separate branch of the Worksmart family. EMC Projects will operate under the Worksmart Group and provide mechanical and electrical services on our fit-out and refurbishment projects in Scotland and beyond.

EMC Projects provide building solutions services on electrical, mechanical and communications projects throughout Scotland and the UK. They operate in all market sectors of commercial office, industrial, retail, education, healthcare & hotel & leisure.


After some twenty years of successfully working together in the delivery of some fabulous and complex projects, Mick O`Brien and Steve Neilson, along with the Worksmart Contracts Ltd board, created EMC Projects Ltd as a new entity and brand to work as part of the Make It Worksmart Group.

The skilled engineers at EMC have the experience to improve the overall service offered by Worksmart. EMC are experts in all things electrical, communications and mechanical. They can offer a wide range of services such as: structured cabling network solutions to fibre splicing services, electrical testing/inspection, lighting, electrical supplies, cabling, air conditioning, ventilation, CCTV, Fire Alarms, A/V solutions, plumbing and heating.

This is just the tip of the iceberg with regards to the number of services EMC Projects specialise in and this addition to the Worksmart family will give us greater flexibility as an organisation. Worksmart will be able to offer better value to clients on future refurbishment and fit-out projects, being able to call upon EMC instead of bringing in other contractors.


This new partnership allows Worksmart to quote, plan and undertake projects in a more efficient manner. With everything in-house, the process will be shortened, and the result will be achieved faster for our clients.

The overall service will be of a higher standard too, as EMC will be working to the strict standards of everyone else in the Worksmart Group. This is an exciting development for Worksmart Contracts and we look forward to working closely with everyone at EMC over the course of this year and beyond.

We knew we needed the flexibility and focus of our own M&E business to work hand in glove with on our commercial refurbishment and fit-out projects.

Already with a successful first year under our belt during the pandemic, we have a solid foundation to build upon for our second year and beyond. In addition to our regular works, we have a significant level of Essential Working status projects on the go within markets such as retail and healthcare. We are very proud to be able to support our clients in such times.

Worksmart is constantly striving to achieve a higher standard of work for our clients. So far in 2021 we are continuing to work with our current and past clients while securing new work in the public and private sectors.

EMC have the experience, knowledge, and certification to ensure projects are successfully carried out. For further information on EMC Projects and examples of the types of projects they work on, you can click here.

To view past case studies click here.

Check out our other blogs

Follow us on: TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

We are here to help.


Luxury Castle Refurbishment Project at Glenapp Castle


After a long-term project in the hotel and leisure sector – in part due to the pandemic – Worksmart are delighted to have completed the handover for our refurbishment of the top floor and other key areas at Glenapp Castle.

Located in Ballantrae Ayrshire, Glenapp Castle dates back to the 1870s and was designed by the celebrated Edinburgh architect David Bryce.

It was built in the Scottish Baronial style and combines elements of both Gothic and Renaissance architecture.


After falling into an unfortunate state of disrepair, the property was acquired by the McMillan family of hoteliers in 1994. Since then, it has been a luxury hotel venue, giving guests the chance to enjoy the highest standards of luxury in an authentic listed Scottish castle and surrounding areas.

The current owners had the ambition and foresight to turn Glenapp Castle into one of Scotland’s most enchanting and leading hotel venues in the UK. Among the awards the Castle has received in recent years is the prestigious Sunday Times “Best Place to Stay 2020”.

The latest part of these renovations and upgrades is where Worksmart Contracts and Worksmart Fire Door Inspection came in.

The new refurbishment involved the complete redevelopment of the third-floor area into a luxury suite named The Endeavour, and the Glenapp Castle Penthouse Apartment. The suite boasts its own independent butler, private elevator, sauna, spa, multiple en-suite bedrooms and kitchen and dining areas.


Passive Fire Protection in Historic Buildings

Passive fire protection standards had to be upgraded to bring the Historic Scotland listed castle up to 21st century standards. This involved a great deal of work for the team at Worksmart Fire Door Inspection. New fire doors, access hatches, sprinkler systems and new structural timbers were installed, along with a vast array of Passive Fire Protection measures.

The result is a suite of the highest luxury. Not only that, but a venue which has been able to retain its historic charm while falling in line with regards to today’s modern safety standards.


For the Worksmart FDI team, this was a huge challenge. Bringing a 19th century building up to our modern standards of fire protection required great levels of skill and patience.

Specialist stone masons were brought in to help and new timber beams and calcium silicate boards had to be installed in various locations. A sprinkler system was also installed. Thanks to the hard work of Worksmart Fire Door Inspection, Glenapp Castle now meets all standards for fire door compliance.

An impressive feat for an historic building and more evidence of the abilities of the fire door experts, inspectors and certified tradesmen who carried out the work.

A pleasure to work with


Working with the client was a true pleasure. Our operatives on the job were blown away by his passion and vision for the hotel. Between Glenapp’s owner and their consultant building surveyor, our projects team found them both to be a pleasure to work with.

Throughout the project many of our operatives actually stayed on-site in order to keep travel to a minimum because of COVID.

For such a challenging project, the way everyone was able to come together and successfully carry out the works has been fantastic.

This is a job that will live long in the memory of everyone who was part of it.

If you’d like to enquire about a refurbishment in a heritage or listed building, contact us today. Whether your project is in the hotel and leisure sector or in a historic building, Worksmart Contracts and Worksmart Fire Door Inspection have what it takes to make the project a success.


Get in touch with our Business Development Manager James Harkins, we’d love to discuss.

[email protected]

Check out our other blogs

Follow us on: TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

We are here to help.


Meet our Apprentices – Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2021


As Scottish Apprenticeship week once again rolls around, it’s time for Worksmart to look within our ranks and celebrate the fresh faces of the team. These young men and women will be future of not only Worksmart, but the construction industry in general.

Nothing pleases us more than seeing local apprentices making their way in this industry. At a time when so many young people are directionless and fear for the future, we pride ourselves on giving them a platform to excel.


Two of our second-year apprentices – Finlay Kerr and Mackenzie Mackie – were keen to share their experiences as Worksmart apprentices.

Finlay (18) and Mackenzie (23) both joined Worksmart as apprentices in 2019. Both chose to become joiners after enjoying woodwork at school. Mackenzie also had a bit of push from our very own Gary Robertson, who encouraged Mackenzie to apply for the job.

Mixing his days between practical on-site work and attaining his qualifications in the classroom at Ayrshire College, Finlay said a usual day for him includes “working with other people, using plasterboard to sheet walls, cutting wood for framing and keeping the site nice and tidy.”

Speaking about his day-to-day duties, Mackenzie said “it’s something new every day which is great for me. I find it difficult to enjoy something when I’m constantly doing the same thing; seeing new faces and learning each day on the sites or at college keeps me motivated.”

We place great value on the educational aspect of an apprenticeship and all of our apprentices have enjoyed their time at Ayrshire College and Forth Valley College respectively. Mackenzie said “this apprenticeship has taught me a lot of skills and a lot about myself too. I enjoy the work and love my college course.”

Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2021
Finlay Kerr

Finlay added “I feel like I am using the skills I have learned from college a lot on site and college has helped me understand joinery a lot more.” Worksmart is delighted to have a strong working partnership in place with Ayrshire College which has been hugely beneficial for our young staff.

So, what does the future hold for these two? Well, as you’d expect of any Worksmart employee, both have a lot of ambition and are excited for what the future will bring. Finlay said he hopes to be supervising jobs with Worksmart in 10 years’ time.

Mackenzie, on the other hand would like to explore his interest in the graphic design side of things further and learn more about CAD and designing 3D models of products and technical drawings. He added: “I’m thinking in future I can complete my advanced craft and try my hand at a university course to become an architect.”

Hopefully both young men have a bright future within the industry. For now, we’re delighted to have them on the Worksmart team.

Scottish Apprenticeship Week celebrates the benefits apprenticeships bring to businesses, individuals and the economy in Scotland.