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Tuesday 21 February 2017


The University of St Andrews is on the hunt for its latest batch of apprentices, with opportunities for seven local people to join its award-winning young team.

This year marks a decade since the University’s first modern apprenticeship scheme was established, with 17 young people successfully passing through the initiative since its inception.

The new recruits – all sought from the local area – will learn a wide range of skills in traditional trades alongside fellow apprentices and skilled colleagues working in 147 mediaeval and modern buildings across the University estate.

The new openings are for a plumber, gas facilities engineer, electrician, roofer, painter, joiner and a sports surface apprentice.

Applicants to the four-year programme – which closes this Friday (24 February) – should be 16 to 24 years of age and live within a 20 mile radius of St Andrews.

All apprentices benefit from working with experienced and highly skilled members of the University’s Estates team, with additional placements at local colleges as block release students.

Estates currently have 13 apprentices, a number of whom were singled out last year in recognition of their skills, abilities and endeavour whilst under training at the University.

Assistant Director of Estates Helen Mackie commented: “This programme allows us to offer training and development in a diverse variety of trade skills, within a unique portfolio of buildings. In addition to maintaining our current buildings, our apprentices are also given the opportunity to work with contractors on new developments.

“Our apprentices are a valuable and enthusiastic addition to our workforce, enabling us to develop a pool of home-grown talent who are appropriately skilled and trained.”

Established in 2007 as a way of creating the next generation of skilled local craftsmen, the scheme offers local youngsters the unique opportunity to work in the University’s unique listed buildings, in state-of-the-art laboratories and on 87 hectares of grounds and sports fields.

At the time of its launch, it was the first initiative of its kind to be run by the University in 20 years. It was so successful the University was able to expand and re-invest in the scheme by recruiting a fresh new cohort on a bi-annual basis.

Mrs Mackie continued: “Within the Fife area, this type of opportunity is extremely rare, which is demonstrated by the volume of applications we receive for our programme every two years. As we mark the first ten years and look ahead to the next generation, we are particularly hoping for some female applicants who are traditionally underrepresented in this role.”

The University will host an open doors session for anyone interested in finding out more this Wednesday (22 February) between 6pm and 8pm at Parliament Hall, South Street, St Andrews.

Those that can’t make it along to the open session can call 01334 462571 for more information. Application packs are available online.


The apprenticeship scheme was launched in August 2007, with approximately seven new apprentices joining every two years.

Photo caption

Estates Apprentices left to right: Andrew Thomson, Sam Shepherd, Blair Thomson and Jamie Todd.

Current Apprentices include:

Andrew Thomson (1st year plumber), from St Paul’s High School in Dundee, was awarded the Dundee and District Master Plumber’s Association Prize from Dundee and Angus College for the session 2015 to 2016. Andrew joined Estates in August 2015 and has completed the first year of his apprenticeship.

Sam Shepherd (3rd year plumber) was selected by Fife College to represent them at the 2016 Annual SNIPEF SkillPlumb Plumbing Apprentice awards. Sam, who lives in Lochgelly with his wife and young family, was asked to represent Fife College for the second year running. Sam competed against 13 apprentices from Scotland and was awarded the Best Copper prize and came 2nd overall in the competition. Sam was also successful in reaching the UK Final of the SkillPLUMB competition in November 2016.

Jamie Todd (3rd year Gas Facilities Engineer) and Blair Thomson (1st year Gas Facilities Engineer) both received commendation certificates by Glasgow Kelvin College for the session 2015 to 2016. Commendation certificates are awarded to select students who have excelled in their coursework, in recognition of their hard work and endeavour throughout the period of their college year. Jamie was previously awarded best 2nd year Gas Facilities Engineer student at Glasgow Kelvin College for the session 2014 to 2015.

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews, contactable on 01334 462530 or 01334 467227 or via email to [email protected].

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