McTaggart apprentices smash barriers while building homes
With 80 per cent of their apprentices supported to overcome barriers to employment a social housing provider is building bright futures for those who need a helping hand – and harnessing young talent.
McTaggart Group, based in Dalry, Ayrshire, has been supporting apprentices for more than 20 years, with 33 Modern Apprentices from SVQ 2-5 currently working in areas including scaffolding, plant operations and joinery.
Most of its sites are in places where educational attainment and progression into a positive destination beyond school is lower than the national average.
The company believes construction can provide life-changing opportunities and that promoting the industry through Foundation Apprenticeships for school pupils can offer young people career routes outside traditional academic pathways.
Attracting young talent
McTaggart Construction Community Benefits Manager Ross Hammell said: “Apprenticeships provide McTaggart Group with a sustainable pipeline of new talent.
“Supporting this new talent not only helps us address the significant skills shortage in construction but allows us to promote our business as an employer that sees the importance of having young people in the industry.
“We believe that apprentices bring a motivated and enthused aspect to the workforce and our commitment to the regeneration of some of Scotland’s most deprived areas goes beyond the brick and mortar of new housing.
“For example, a local High School Foundation Apprenticeship initiative with Tigers Training delivered on site and in the classroom provides schools with a new curriculum choice for young people at S4-S5 level.
“We not only use the site as a learning environment to educate and inspire young people on construction careers, building methods and materials but we also link with Tigers to deliver industry qualifications such as the Construction Skills Certification Scheme.”
McTaggart Construction was a winner at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards in the Large Employer of the Year category, sponsored by Anderson Strathern.
Ross continued: “Communication is key to supporting the apprentices. We created WhatsApp groups so that young people could talk to other apprentices in similar frameworks. It is also a useful tool to support portfolio development.
“As well as our apprentice employees we are currently supporting 66 Foundation Apprentices, working with six different delivery partners to support these in North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, Glasgow and Ayrshire.
“One of the best examples of the success of our overall approach was an operative, from Drumchapel, a site labourer who left school at 14 and has progressed through his SVQ 2 in plant operations to SVQ 3 in site supervision and is now being supported in an HNC in Construction Management.
“We have opened up apprenticeships to all, they are creating life-changing opportunities and at the same time they have brought real value to the business.”
Over 12,000 employers support Scottish Apprenticeships, which are work-based learning opportunities or jobs with industry-recognised qualifications. Designed with employers for employers, Scottish Apprenticeships are demand-led and responsive to regional skills needs.