Last week we visited Ashleigh Scotland’s fantastic new Headquarters in Prestwick to meet with David Smith, Managing Director of Ashleigh (Scotland) Ltd and also Chair of DYW Ayrshire. We met with David to find out how being involved with DYW has benefitted his business and as Chair why he would encourage others to get involved.
Ashleigh Scotland was established in 2001 and is a Private Limited construction company which employ just over 140 people. Their main offices are in Prestwick and Dumfries and operations generally cover South West and Central Scotland. They deliver a range of new build and refurbishment projects, and are committed to their core values of Developing People, Delivering Communities and Constructing with Care. The company has achieved a sustainable level of turnover with a capability to deliver up to £42m per annum.
David is a Quantity Surveyor to profession and his role as DYW Ayrshire Chairman started in October 2016. It is something he feels very passionate about as it echoes what Ashleigh do as a company. As a company they have a strong focus on investing in young people and helping them learn about the working environment and the various employment opportunities within construction.
Ashleigh enjoys an enviable track record in recruitment and training through their established Employment and Apprenticeship programme. Ashleigh took their first apprentice on the very first year in 2001 and are committed to the employment of trade and professional apprentices each year.
David says that being involved with DYW Ayrshire is a great opportunity to mould your future workforce at a really early age, and raise awareness of your industry and the different career paths within it.
Ashleigh are committed to the ongoing engagement and involvement with local primary and secondary schools. They visit local schools, attending career events, providing one on one mentoring, arranging mock interviews and also offering work experience on-site and in their Prestwick and Dumfries offices.
Ashleigh have recently completed their second construction partnership project with Belmont Academy, in conjunction with Ayrshire College and MAST Architects. The partnership came together after Managing Director, David Smith and Business Co-Ordinator, Claire Hosie attended a business breakfast at Belmont Academy last year.
The programme was developed for S3 pupils which would provide them with lessons on both professional and trade roles within the construction industry. This year’s project was based around Ashleigh’s housing development at Montgomerie Street in Ardrossan. Pupils were given a layout of a plot of land beside the site to design a potential new development. They then went on a tour of the sight where they saw the various stages in construction.
The pupils participated in lessons at Ayrshire College learning about joinery, project concluded with the pupils presenting their group task project and obtaining their educational ‘Dynamic Youth Award’.
The project has created awareness of the opportunities available within the construction industry, taking focus away from the trade roles and developing the pupils understanding of the professional roles available. Ashleigh have encourage pupils to look at a future career within construction and hope to see a full circle effect with one of the participating pupils look to work with them in the future.
Belmont Academy Construction Partnership 2017
Ashleigh Building encourages other Employers to get involved in offering this type of engagement with schools as it creates awareness for their industry and company. The project gives Ashleigh an opportunity to develop the young workforce, and allows them to inform young people of the qualifications and skills they might need for future career opportunities within their company.
David says that DYW Ayrshire is a great thing to be involved in as the sense of reward is really high no matter what you are able to contribute or commit to. It doesn’t matter your business size or sector, by visiting local schools, attending career events or offering work experience you are giving young people more awareness and choice when making career decisions, and this could potentially help them reach a positive destination.
Watch our full interview with David below as he speaks about the benefits of being involved with DYW Ayrshire and how Ashleigh use young people to grow their business.
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