Pre-apprentices expand their horizons with Morrison Construction

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Pre-apprentices from New College Lanarkshire have been given an insight into the career opportunities available in the construction industry in a visit from Morrison Construction.

Economic Performance Manager Jim Johnstone and Assistant Community Skills Manager Caitlin Quinn from the leading Scottish contractor visited the Motherwell Campus recently to give a talk to students.

For the last three years, the College and Morrison Construction have worked together on a ‘contractor partnership’ to allow pre-apprentices to undertake six-week-long work placements on the company’s building projects across the central belt of Scotland.

Many of those students who have successfully completed work placements have been offered Modern Apprenticeships in the sector, in trades ranging from joinery and brickwork to ceiling installation and groundwork.

Jim Johnstone gave students an overview of some of the company’s high profile projects, including the Queensferry Crossing. The company has been involved in more than £1billion of public and private sector projects in Scotland over the last five years.

He added: “Morrison Construction has a progressive community benefits programme – and the contractor partnership with New College Lanarkshire is just one of our many local initiatives.

“For three years, this partnership has enabled us to assist in the shaping and preparing of young people with aspirations for a career in the construction industry as they learn skills, earn qualifications and build relationships essential for joining the workforce.”

The full-time Construction Pre-Apprentice programme, which lasts for one academic year, is a multi-skilled construction course designed to provide students with the skills, qualifications and certificates that will help them either secure full-time employment or progress on to further study at the College.

Students learn basic skills in carpentry, painting and decorating, bricklaying, and health and safety, in addition to gaining a City & Guilds Diploma and CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) training.

The Pre-Apprenticeship offering has been offered by New College Lanarkshire for over 10 years, now encompassing eight classes of 16 students.

Construction lecturer John Quinn said: “We try to get students work-ready and companies like Morrison Construction are seeing that sense of discipline that students are learning with us transfer into the workplace.

“So far we’ve had a very successful partnership and found positive destinations for many of the students who have gone on placement.

“I hope that this presentation from Morrison Construction gives our students aspirations to be the best they can be and realise the wide-ranging career paths that are available to them.”

To find out more about the Construction courses at New College Lanarkshire, please visit www.nclan.ac.uk/courses/construction or call 0300 555 8080.

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