Construction Skills academy students successfully complete pre-apprenticeship training

A celebration event took place at the Brunton Hall as seven young people graduated from the Musselburgh Construction Skills Academy ready to move into the construction industry.

The S5 pupils, who originally attended Preston Lodge and Ross High schools, studied at the Construction Skills Academy from June until December working towards a Level 5 SCVQ Pre-Apprenticeship in Carpentry and Joinery. The course is delivered in partnership between East Lothian Council and Edinburgh College and based within the Construction Skills Academy at Musselburgh Grammar School. It combines practical woodwork and tool experience, employability skills and health and safety legislation to leave them workplace-ready. Previous students have moved into paid apprenticeships within the construction industry or employment after completing the course.

Cabinet member for Education Councillor Shamin Akhtar attended the event alongside students’ families, councillors, representatives from the county’s secondary schools, the police and Developing Young Workforce (DyW) staff. She said: “I was delighted to attend tonight’s event and to meet with the students and their families and to hear more about the difference this course has made. It was obvious how much they had gained from their time at the Construction Academy. They were rightly proud of their achievements and excited for the next steps. Having Jewson, Wickes and Howden support their efforts with a toolkit that they can take on to their working life was a lovely gesture and we’re grateful to those firms.”

Jewson, Wickes and Howden Joinery firms provided each of the student with their own toolkit, worth £150, ready for their next steps into the industry.

Clare Hindle, Principal Teacher of Construction and Technology at Musselburgh Grammar School, leads the skills academy. She said: “I’m very proud of the students and the progress that they have made. Apart from learning a skilled trade, they have all grown in confidence and self-esteem. They have a better understanding of the industry and how they can contribute to it. They’re leaving the course ready for the workplace with a national qualification, a CSCS card and, thanks to the three local companies, their own professional tool kit. It was lovely to come together with their families to celebrate their achievements.”

The Musselburgh Construction Skills Academy was set up in November 2016 to give pupils in East Lothian an opportunity to get a head start in construction while also responding to industry needs. The centre is a partnership between East Lothian Council, Edinburgh College and industry. Pupils attending the county’s six secondary schools can choose to study at the centre for a SCVQ in level 4 or 5. Courses include Joinery and Carpentry, Plumbing, and Painting and Decorating.

Published: Friday, 21st December 2018