Five Highland Pupils Take a Journey into Construction

Thursday, 19th May 2022

Five lucky students from Dingwall and Charleston Academies recently took part in the three-week Journey into Construction course, a partnership between ourselves, Simpson Builders and SPW Management Solutions.

Students had the opportunity to gain valuable experience in different areas of the construction trades and also completed first aid certification, gained their CSCS cards, and had access to intensive support in employability and workplace skills, including CV preparation, interview skills, teamwork and confidence building.

The course was a huge success with Gordon Simpson, managing director of Simpson Builders, saying: “We were delighted and very impressed with the enthusiasm and determination from our five students, all of whom did extremely well.”

SPW Management Solutions’ Winnie Douglas added: “This particular session went very well with all five candidates achieving nationally accredited qualifications under our tutorage.”

Following completion of the course, two participants have been offered full-time apprenticeships with Simpson Builders, bringing the firm’s total apprentice count up to 12. One will complete an SVQ Level 2 in skilled construction labour, with progression onto a construction plan operative apprenticeship, while the other will work towards a joinery apprenticeship.

Jay Reid, a Dingwall Academy pupil, was offered one of these apprenticeships: “I really enjoyed the experience of the Journey into Construction course and am happy with the fact that I have ended up with an apprenticeship with Simpson Builders. I couldn’t have asked for a better team to work alongside.”

Simpson Builders employs around 80 people in the Inverness and Central Highland area and has a strong commitment to supporting the community and nurturing young talent, cementing this by signing the Young Person’s Guarantee last year.

Opportunities like these are invaluable for young people, with Brian Phillips, one of our school coordinators, explaining: “Programmes like this allow young people the chance to explore different post-school possibilities and learn more about potential routes into employment.”

Find out more about the Young Person’s Guarantee and how to get involved to support local young people.