The University of St Andrews has hired its first female apprentice, following the launch of its first apprenticeship scheme in twenty years.
Claire Collins (21) joined the University earlier this month as a painter and decorator. The Dundonian is the first woman hired by the University since the modern apprenticeship scheme was launched two years ago.
The new initiative, which takes on a small group of apprentices every two years, was established as a way of creating the next generation of skilled local craftsmen or women. Last year, the first eight apprentices – all young men from the local and surrounding area – successfully completed their first year of a four year training programme.
Claire left school after completing her fourth year at Grove Academy in Dundee, joining Perth College, where she was encouraged to apply for the painting and decorating course there.
“I had a great bunch of lecturers and Perth College,” she commented. “I decided to apply for the apprenticeship scheme at St Andrews this year because the University has a really good reputation, and the standard of workmanship is really high.”
“So far it’s been brilliant. I didn’t expect everyone to be so nice and friendly or to come into work with a smile on my face every day. I’m just really enjoying it – it’s amazing!” she said.
When asked how it felt to be the only girl in the group, she admitted that she was unsure to begin with. “I was apprehensive initially because I was the only girl, however I just fit in perfectly and now feel like one of the guys,” she explained.
University apprentices 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.
This month, Claire and five others joined the scheme, and between them the current apprentices cover 138 buildings across 64 hectares of formal grounds plus 23 hectares of sports fields. All fourteen 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.
NOTE TO PICTURE EDITORS:
YOU ARE INVITED TO ATTEND A PHOTOCALL AT 10AM ON FRIDAY 28 AUGUST 2009 AT ST SALVATOR’S QUARDANGLE, NORTH STREET, ST ANDREWS. CLAIRE AND HER FELLOW APPRENTICES WILL BE AVAILABLE.
IMAGES WILL ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE PRESS OFFICE – CONTACTS BELOW.
Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact Gayle Cook, Senior Press Officer on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email [email protected]
Ref: You’re hired 280809
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