HART Builders, part of one of Scotland’s largest independently owned construction and residential development companies, the Cruden Group, welcomed the Minister for communities, Aileen Campbell MSP,to one of its leading developments yesterday to mark Scottish Apprenticeship Week.
Ms Campbell visited Hart Builders’ Ropeworks development in Leith, which is one of the largest housing sites currently under construction in Edinburgh. During the visit Ms Campbell was introduced to a number of apprentices and tradespeople who shared their experiences of working with the company. She also met company Managing Director, Andy Mallice, who gave an insight into the firm’s ethos when recruiting apprentices.
The modern apprentices make up a 60+ strong team of apprentices that the Cruden Group train every year. The Group has been delivering a modern and graduate apprentice programme for almost 50 years and continues to invest heavily in maximising local training and employment opportunities across Scotland.
Their four-year modern apprenticeship programme for joiners, painters and decorators, plumbers and bricklayers, gives young people the opportunity to learn their chosen trade through practical on the job training, while also working towards a formal qualification.
Andy Mallice, Managing Director of Hart Builders, part of the Cruden Group said: “We are delighted to shine a spotlight on the vital role that apprentices play within the construction sector. We offer one of the most sought-after apprenticeship programmes in the industry and we are currently training over 60 apprentices through our Cruden Academy, employing the majority of our apprentices once they qualify.
“The construction industry is in the grip of a skills shortage and we must secure a talented workforce to future-proof this thriving industry. Our ‘grow your own’ approach to training and development allows us to contribute to this issue, ensuring Scotland’s construction industry retains a highly-skilled workforce”.
Minister for communities Aileen Campbell said:
“Hart Builders are one of thousands of businesses across Scotland recognising the value of work-based learning. It was a pleasure to visit their Ropeworks development in Leith, and speak to the apprentices about their journey.
“Apprenticeships not only support people into sustainable and rewarding careers, they also contribute to the skills needs of our businesses. The Scottish Government is on track to meet our target of 30,000 new apprenticeships starts by 2020/21, pursuing inclusive growth for the wellbeing and prosperity of Scotland’s people.”
One of the apprentices who met Ms Campbell was James Summers, a fourth-year apprentice plumber at Hart Builders, who is due to complete his apprenticeship later this year.
James said: “Since joining as an apprentice, I’ve learnt so much and that’s due to Hart Builders and the fantastic training and support that I’ve received throughout the last four years. Apprenticeships are a great way to earn while you learn, resulting in a very valuable trade. I would recommend it to anyone.”
Cruden also run a range of additional training initiatives through their ‘pathways to employment’ programme and hold ‘Investors in People – Silver’ and ‘Investors in Young People – Gold’ accreditations.