New construction apprentice opportunities in the Highlands



National Construction College,  Bircham Newton, NorfolkMore construction apprenticeships will be available for young people in the Highlands thanks to a ground breaking scheme, launched in Inverness today.

The Shared Apprenticeship Scheme (SAS) is a partnership between the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), the Highland Council and local construction employers. It gives more companies the opportunity to set up apprenticeship places by sharing the apprentice with other employers.

The Shared Highland Apprentices in Construction (SHAC) will run the scheme. It will employ the apprentices and work with companies to develop placements.

This new approach enables more small companies to offer apprentice places by making the process easier. Employers will be able to share delivery of a full apprentice programme with a number of employers and won’t have to make the full financial commitment that is usually necessary when an apprentice is taken on.

Billy Baxter, area delivery manager for CITB in the Highlands, said: “The Shared Apprenticeship Scheme has been set up in response to industry demand. It is a new way of providing construction contractors with an opportunity to meet local training obligations, and to maximise additional training opportunities for apprentices.”

Allan Maguire, head of property partnerships, development and infrastructure services at the Highland Council, said: “We are delighted to support and part fund SHAC. This innovative project will give Highland youngsters the opportunity to work in the construction industry and obtain a full Modern Apprenticeship qualification, while also supporting local building contractors and tackling the growing shortage of skilled construction workers in the Highlands.”

Neil Sutherland, chair of SHAC board and managing director at MAKAR Ltd, said: “The realisation of the Shared Apprenticeship model in the Highlands is consistent with the desire and drive towards a more general increase in the quality of our built environment. In order to deliver better outcomes and approaches predicated on high levels of skill, competence and commitment of people are required. This contemporary strategic approach to learning and training for our young people offered by SHAC will assist regional economic activity, improved skill levels, increase job satisfaction and will deliver well paid employment.”

Winnie Munro, manager at SHAC Ltd, added: “It is an exciting time for Highland employers and young people interested in a career in construction. We can’t wait to get started.”



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