National Tradesperson Day 2017
To celebrate National Tradesperson Day, we visited two of Ashleigh Building’s project sites in Ardrossan and Saltcoats to get a better understanding of a day in the life of a tradesman.
Ashleigh Building is a private Limited construction company established in 2001 and their principal business activity is construction. They are a Main Contractor covering a diverse range of sectors across various procurement routes. Ashleigh’s main offices are in Prestwick and Dumfries and Galloway and their 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.
On our visit we met with Business Co-ordinator Claire Hosie. Claire’s journey into Ashleigh started off three and a half years ago in a graduate position. When she finished her marketing degree she began working with Ashleigh Building as a Business Co-Ordinator. Her job role involves bid preparation for all tenders, as well as community engagement with local schools/colleges and businesses.
Ashleigh visit local primary schools within close proximity of their projects to raise awareness of any relevant issues and to promote Health and Safety good practice. They also interact with local secondary schools, attending careers events, providing one on one mentoring, arranging mock interviews and also offering work experience placements on-site and at their Prestwick and Dumfries offices. They have implemented similar initiatives with local colleges, sponsoring awards, offering work placements and arranging site tours for construction students.
Claire says that it is important for employers to get involved with young people and offer them various career opportunities; whether it be work experience, work placements, attending career events or educational projects. It is important that young people see the various job roles within industries and the routes into employment as well.
We wanted to know if there was equality within the construction industry and Claire told us that there is more equality in the professional side rather than the trade side but they are getting more female apprentices and are always encouraging females into the industry. Ashleigh feel it is important to take along different role models, male and female, to each of the different events to try and encourage the gender gap to close.
Claire’s advice to woman who are starting out in this industry would be to get involved, work hard and don’t be shy.
We also met with Project Manager Alan Scott to hear about what it is like to be a Project Manager and what skills and qualities you need for the job. Alan started his career at Ashleigh in 2009 as an Apprentice Joiner. After serving a 4 year apprenticeship he progressed to be a Trainee Site Manager. Alan completed his HNC in Construction Management and also his SVQ in Site Management and Supervision.
Alan’s job role within Ashleigh involves day to day health and safety monitoring and making sure that the site is running as per programme, making sure it’s being delivered safely on time and in budget.
His advice to young people who are interested in a career as a Project Manager would be to study general craft skills at school such as maths, graphic communication, graphic design, and woodwork; anything that gives you a hands on feel. Alan believes work experience placements are key to young people as it gives them a real insight into what the job involves, and can help make their mind up if this is something they want to pursue as a future career.
Ashleigh Building have built up a strong and loyal team of 148 personnel, including Contract Managers, Project Managers, Quantity Surveyors, Estimators, Business Co-Ordinator, Account and Administrative staff. They also employ 100 multi skilled tradespeople including Painters, Joiners, Bricklayers, Foreman and Labourers.
Ashleigh enjoys an enviable track record in recruitment and training through their established Employment and Apprenticeship programme. They are committed to the employment of trade and professional apprentices each year, re-employing the ‘hard to reach’, tailor individual training programmes for our personnel and the promotion from within our organisation to cultivate organic growth. They currently have 24 trade apprentices working within the organisation.
On our visit we met with two of Ashleigh’s apprentices, 22 year-old Caitlin White and 20 year-old Mark Gardiner. We interviewed them to hear about their journeys to where they are today and about the different experiences within their job roles.
Caitlin is currently doing her apprenticeship in Painting and Decorating and before starting with Ashleigh Building, she attended college to get a better understanding of painting and decorating and to learn the basic skills involved. Caitlin carries out various duties in her job role such as internal and external painting, aims taping, sanding, and decorators caulking. She hopes to be retained as a tradesperson to further her skills and progress within in the company. Her advice to any young person who may be considering a career in this industry would be to go to college and learn the trade and the basic skills before applying for an apprenticeship.
Apprentice Joiner, Mark Gardiner undertakes general joinery duties such as fitting wooden structures i.e. doors, window frames, staircases and partition walls. Also installing doors, cupboards, skirting boards and door surroundings. His advice to any young person who may be considering a career in this industry is to do the best you can and apply yourself. He hopes to continue his career in Ashleigh Building and develop his skills as a joiner.
On our visit we also met with 23 year old Jason Turnbull. Jason started out at Ashleigh as an Apprentice Joiner completing his 4 year apprenticeship and is now a fully qualified tradesperson.
This is Jason’s first year as a qualified tradesperson. He has found it challenging but also good that he has more responsibility and able to do jobs on his own. Jason has an apprentice working with him and feels this is good as he can pass on the skills and qualities that he has learned throughout his apprenticeship onto him.
Watch our full interview with Business Co-ordinator Claire Hosie, Project Manager Alan Scott, Joiner Jason Turnbull and a few of Ashleigh’s apprentices.
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