Pre-Apprenticeship proves productive for Lanarkshire students


A pre-apprenticeship programme run at New College Lanarkshire has proved a great success for students looking to enter trades.

Seven students who joined a pre-apprenticeship course in Construction at the College’s Motherwell Campus have gained successful entry onto the full-time Modern Apprenticeship in Carpentry and Joinery.

They now combine studying in the specialist engineering facilities alongside gaining practical work experience and training with their employer.

The ‘Magnificent 7’ includes Martin McKenna, 19 from Motherwell, who took on the apprenticeship programme with John Graham Construction a UK-wide company.

He said: “The pre-apprenticeship programme has allowed me to get onto the apprenticeship I am today, as we had lots of employers visiting and after two interviews with John Graham Construction, I was offered the apprenticeship.”

Classmate Alexander Brumm, 17 from Carluke also credited his apprenticeship with Holytown-based Rogers & Johnson Ltd., saying: “Through the pre-apprenticeship I was put through additional workplace qualifications including IOSH and CSCS, which helped me gain my apprenticeship, putting me ahead of other potential candidates.”

David Watson, 22 from Coatbridge works for family business, Watson Construction, but credits his success as an apprentice to the pre-apprenticeship programme.

He said: “I was lucky to gain an apprenticeship through my family company, but I have had to work hard for it and the pre-apprenticeship set me up well. I gained skills and knowledge of the trade as well as meeting different people from all over the industry.”

The three are joined on the programme by former pre-apprenticeship students Cormac Sharkey, 19 from Glenboig who is employed by BJM Interiors, Mark Kane, 17 from Airdrie who works for RJ McLeod and Russell Graham, 19 from Newmains who works for Rota Installations.

The students join 25 fellow apprentices on the programme, learning skills including constructing doors, partitions and timber joints.

Studying at college while gaining practical experience with their employer, the group aim to develop their skills and knowledge of the industry, to eventually specialise in their chosen area.

Craig Tait, Lecturer at New College Lanarkshire, said: “The pre-apprenticeship programme is designed to give students a taster of what is ahead for them as an apprentice, and they learn the skills and knowledge necessary for the working world.

“This puts them at an advantage to other potential apprentices, having direct contact with employers, work experience and insider knowledge of the industry.

“I am really proud of the seven who have gone on to start apprenticeships with really reputable local companies, and I’d like to thank all our employers for their ongoing support of our students.

“We hope that this success reaffirms the College’s dedication to getting young people on the right path to their chosen career with the various programmes that are available – from pre-apprenticeship to degree-level apprenticeships.”

The Construction Pre-Apprenticeship course at New College Lanarkshire is designed to provide students with a range of skills, industry recognised qualifications and certificates that assist them in gaining a construction-related apprenticeship.

The full-time course has no formal entry requirements and provides skills in areas including carpentry, joinery, bricklaying, painting and decoration.

Upon successful completion, candidates are encouraged to pursue a Modern Apprenticeship or further study of Construction at NC level.

For more information about the programme, visit

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