Apprentice stonemasons with The Ridge project in Dunbar have completed a commission at a multimillion pound new facility. 

The two apprentices, Darren Brown and Simon Reay, worked on a boundary wall on the Wallyford Secondary Learning Campus site. They were supervised and trained by The Ridge Foundations CIC, a construction company/social enterprise which is part of the Dunbar-based charity, The Ridge SCIO. The Ridge works to create local job and training opportunities. The construction skills programme employs the young people as part of their apprenticeship in Stone Masonry which will help them move into employment within this sector. 

£47.2m community campus

The apprentices were commissioned to work on an existing wall on the west side of the £47.2m community campus. They created a stone wall with lime mortar pointing, rebedded stone coping and constructed new openings and infilled damaged areas with recycled stone. 

High quality of finish

Cabinet member for Education, Families and Children’s Services Councillor Fiona Dugdale said: “This has been a great opportunity for the young apprentices to take their learning into a live construction environment and gain a unique insight into the industry. They have delivered a high quality of finish which complements the work carried out by time-served, experienced tradespeople on the wider site. Their efforts are now part of East Lothian’s landscape and will be a lasting testament to the project.

“It’s a great example of the council working with its partners and through its procurement processes to deliver real benefits to communities as part of this multimillion pound investment. There’s also a real synergy with the Regional Construction Skills Academy which is already operating on site.

“I’d like to commend the apprentices on their work and to The Ridge, Hub South East and Morrison Construction for supporting them.”

Delivering social value

Scott Brown, Hub South East’s Projects Director, said: “We’re keen to ensure that through Hub projects real social value is delivered and local people are able to access opportunities to develop skills and gain industry experience. I’m delighted that Morrison Construction was able to work with The Ridge to allow these young people access to a learning environment on a live site and I congratulate them on their high quality of work on the boundary wall at Wallyford. Hopefully this will have inspired them to consider the construction industry as a potential career pathway in the future.” 

Philip Galbraith, Project Director for Morrison Construction Building Central, commented: “As a business we are always seeking any opportunity to promote early careers and get young talent involved in the construction industry. We were more than happy to be able to offer this opportunity for the trainees to get involved in real, substantial hands-on activity, and I’m delighted to say they excelled. I look forward to hopefully watching them continue their careers within construction in the future.” 

Published: Monday, 27th March 2023