The 33-year-old from Allanton, Shotts, combines his studies at New College Lanarkshire’s Motherwell Campus with working for Wilson Inglis Joiners in Bonkle, Wishaw. Gordon is in his second and final year of the Level 3 SVQ in Carpentry and Joinery, and is being trained through a contract with CITB (Construction Industry Training Board).
“It was a bit daunting at the start coming back to College, because I’m used to being at the top of the tree in my own trade, and I’ve come to this trade and I’ve had to start all over again. I still do a wee bit of stonework but the work dried up a lot after the recession – I was maybe doing a week of work and then a week in the house, so I wasn’t living to my means.
It was a big decision to make at the time, and it has definitely helped that I’m a banker mason to trade, so I’m working with power tools all the time. Now that I’ve found my groove I’m really enjoying it and I want to take it further.”
He was named runner-up in the Adult Apprentice of the Year category of the Scottish Building Apprenticeship & Training Council (SBATC) Awards, which were held at the Scottish Parliament in November 2016. SBATC, which was founded in 1934, regulates and monitors the working conditions, wages, recruitment and training of apprenticeships within the building industry throughout Scotland. Gordon also pursued another interest – he opened a tattoo shop, but soon realised that his interest lay in the construction industry. On completing his apprenticeship this summer, Gordon is hoping to continue his studies with a day-release advanced construction course.
“I couldn’t have done it without William Wilson and William Inglis – it’s a fantastic company to work for with a great team of guys who always do quality work. They’ve already said there is a future there for me if I want it, and they’re putting a lot of responsibility on me – I’m working on houses and working on finishes. And I would like to thank the staff at the College – particularly John McAvoy, Brian Bigger, Craig Tait and Danny Shearer – for their tuition and guidance throughout the course.”
Danny Shearer, Assistant Head of Faculty of Engineering & Automotive, said:
“Gordon has acquitted himself particularly well since starting his apprenticeship. He is a very positive influence within his peer group, and is always quick to help and encourage his classmates. He has made the transition from his previous trade of stone-masonry into his new trade of carpentry and joinery in a very positive way, and wants to develop as far as he can in his new career.”
“Now that I’ve found my groove I’m really enjoying it and I want take it further.”