Completing the first steps to a new career

Students at the Dumfries awards ceremony with their certificates of achievement
Students at the Dumfries awards ceremony with their certificates of achievement

Students from across Dumfries and Galloway have completed the first step to a new career in construction.

The students, from Stranraer, Castle Douglas, Dumfries, Eastriggs and Kirkbean and have all received certificates at a special event to mark the end of their course.

Eleven students, ranging in age from 17 to 50, have now completed their BTEC Introduction to Construction course, which ran from January until May.

They have completed a variety of courses during that time including learning skills in plumbing, painting and decorating, joinery, plastering, electrical and brickwork.

In addition they also completed courses in first aid, manual handling, health and safety, construction drawing skills as well as running and planning an enterprise.

The course has been run in conjunction with Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership, Dumfries and Galloway College, Crudens and Morgan Sindall.

DGHP Chairman, David McMillan, said: “The students have gone above and beyond and I must congratulate them all. They have achieved so much and learned so many new skills that will help them in the future.

“What they have achieved is absolutely fantastic and I wish them all the very best for their future.

“It is excellent that DGHP is working in partnership with the college to offer something that not only benefits the students, but the future of the construction trade and a local workforce.”

Kenny Hilsley, Curriculum Leader Construction, Dumfries and Galloway College, added: “This has been another very successful course run in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership.

“The students have all had a very wide and varied range of experiences which will prepare them well for moving into employment opportunities in the Construction industry. The construction team at Dumfries and Galloway College wish all the candidates great success for the future in whatever careers they pursue.”

A total of 11 students from Dumfries and 17 from Stranraer took part in the course. To enhance their experience on the course, some of those taking part went out on work placements. Six went out with Crudens on DGHP’s site at Thornhill and three took part in work experience with Morgan Sindall.

Following the course, all trainees have been offered a mock interview with the company they did the work placement with. If they have performed well throughout the course, onsite and at the interview, this will improve their chance of the offer of a job should one arise within the company.

The students who completed the course are – Steven Robson, of Dumfries; Lewis Prowse, of Dumfries; Cameron Vance, of Dumfries; Alan McLeod, of Dumfries; Michael Corbett, of Dumfries; Derek Hunter, of Dumfries; Michael Ferguson, of Dumfries; Liam Rogerson, of Eastriggs; Andy Niven, of Dumfries; Jacob McMyn, of Kirkbean and Tony Conlon, of Castle Douglas

Derek Hunter, of Dumfries, is one of the students to complete the course. He said: “I really enjoyed it as it gave me lots of skills in different aspects of construction and I am sure this will benefit me in the future.”

Tony Conlon, from Castle Douglas, said: “For me this course has been great. It’s been a total change of career for me. I used to be a driver, but due to medical reasons I can no longer do that so I had to look to something else.

“At the age of 50 it’s not been easy finding something else and this course has really given me an insight into the construction industry. I hope, due to the growth of the construction business, that I will be able to find a job in the very near future. I would recommend the course to anyone considering it and I am now looking to the next step for next year.”

Liam Rogerson, of Eastriggs, said: “The course was really interesting and I hope it will help in my search for a job. It has helped me acquire the skills I need to go on and work in the construction industry and I would highly recommend it to others.”