The first apprenticeship scheme run by the University of St Andrews in the last twenty years has been hailed a success.
Established almost one year ago as a way of creating the next generation of skilled local craftsmen, the eight apprentices have successfully completed their first year of training.
The young men, all from the local and surrounding area, work across the University’s estate in the traditional trades of joinery, painting & decorating, electrical, gas maintenance & servicing, plumbing, slating & roofing and grounds & garden maintenance.
All going well, the University hopes to reinvest on a bi-annual basis, with a possible expansion of numbers in the years ahead.
Between them, the current apprentices cover 138 buildings across 64 hectares of formal grounds plus 23 hectares of sports fields. All apprentices benefit from working alongside experienced and highly skilled members of the current Estates team and have placements at the local colleges as block release students. One of them, painter Brian Boyd was recently named Apprentice of the Year and is to receive an award for best painting and decorating student at Angus College.
Although usually separated during the working week in locations across the University, the apprentices got together this week for a Staff Development training session.
Director of Estates, John Maguire, said, “We’re really pleased with the progress made by our first batch of apprentices. The initiative was introduced by the University in recognition of the fact that it has some excellent craftsmen who could pass these skills onto a fresh generation.
“Making good use of the skills and experience of our existing team has meant that our apprentices have been given a great opportunity to learn a wide range of skills in everything from maintenance and repair to working on new builds. And of course working for a University as old as St Andrews means they benefit from working in buildings which date from mediaeval times to those built more recently.
“This is a fairly substantial investment for the University, however, we believe that providing local youngsters with this opportunity is an important step forward and colleagues across our existing workforce are playing their part to ensure the programme is a success.”
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IMAGES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE PRESS OFFICE – CONTACTS BELOW.
CAPTION: The eight apprentices are, left to right, Calum Davidson, Paul Scott, John Westwood, Brian Boyd, Steven Latimer, Ewan Spence and Calum Ferguson (Nick Ross absent from photo).
Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
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Ref: Apprentices 130608
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