East Ayrshire communities benefit from GRAHAM expertise

GRAHAM is working with communities in East Ayrshire to donate expertise and resources to local projects.

A group of local children and volunteers at Netherthird Community Garden with GRAHAM apprentices

The company is currently building three Early Years Centres in Stewarton, Cumnock and Kilmaurs for the Ayrshire Early Years expansion programme, and is also contributing to the work of local community organisations.

GRAHAM is providing Stewarton Academy with a shopping list of materials and tools so the school can continue to expand its training programme, which didn’t previously have a construction partner.

The course is a partnership between Ayrshire College, Princes Trust, Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) and GRAHAM.

The S4 and S5 pupils on the programme will learn about construction techniques while getting practical experience with the newly-donated equipment as well as on-site placements at the three early years centre projects.

Upon completion, the pupils will receive City and Guild units in slab making and laying, concrete work, forming paths, paving and health and safety.

GRAHAM’s supply chain partners LSK Supplies and Travis Perkins Builders Merchants also donated tools and materials.

Graeme Johnston, Stewarton Academy depute head, said: “I’d like to thank GRAHAM for its support. This type of vocational learning is important for young people, providing skills which can help them secure a career in construction. The pupils really look forward to it every week.”

Stewarton Academy S5 pupils Toby Barr (left) and Kobe Gray

In addition, three apprentices have supported a Cumnock community by contributing time, skills and resources to a local public garden.

Apprentices John Paul Donnachie, Martin McKenna and Campbell Black installed two polytunnels in Netherthird Community Garden to nurture plants which require warmer temperatures to grow while also providing protection from winter weather.

The garden is volunteer-run and boasts a cottage garden, a play area, vintage café, nature trail and a wild garden.

Gerard O’Hare, contracts manager at GRAHAM, said: “Working with local communities of the areas in which we complete projects is a key value of our company.

“We’re pleased to be working in partnership with both Stewarton Academy and Ayrshire College to demonstrate that the construction industry is a fantastic career pathway for young people.

“This type of course helps to train the sector’s next generation. By learning some techniques of the trade alongside information such as different job roles or employability skills, pupils can gain valuable insight into the many exciting opportunities which construction can offer.

“Similarly, working with Netherthird Community Garden has been an excellent opportunity for our apprentices to give back and demonstrate the skills they have developed during their work with GRAHAM.”

As a member of the ‘5% Club’, the construction company is committed to ensuring at least 5% of its workforce is comprised of young people on structured learning schemes over the next five years.

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