Apprentice Dean returns home

Scaffolding apprentices, National Construction College, Bircham Newton, King's Lynn.''Dean Elrick.
Scaffolding apprentices, National Construction College, Bircham Newton, King's Lynn.''Dean Elrick.

Peterhead teenager Dean Elrick has returned home after he completed the first of three block scaffolding apprenticeship training programmes far from home at a state-of-art construction college in the east of England.

Dean (16), who works for G2 Scaffolding Ltd, returned on Friday after spending two weeks at CITB-ConstructionSkills’ Norfolk-based training college.

He was one of a group of apprentices, drawn from as far afield as Nairn, Wick, Thurso, Orkney and Shetland, who returned on Friday after spending two weeks at CITB-ConstructionSkills’ National Construction College.

Each member of the group is currently working towards a two-year Modern Apprenticeship in Scaffolding, learning vital skills necessary for this in-demand trade at CITB-ConstructionSkills’ college in Bircham Newton, King’s Lynn.

The Modern Apprenticeship, funded by CITB-ConstructionSkills in Scotland, will see the group spend a total of 10 weeks at the college and is designed to compliment on-the-job experience provided by their employers.

This included the fortnight induction and a further six weeks of intensive training, working with CITB-ConstructionSkills’ highly-skilled apprenticeship officers.

The nine young men, aged from 16 to 29, will also return to the college at the end of their apprenticeship to complete a two-week final assessment programme.

Sending the group down to Norfolk was a first for CITB-ConstructionSkills Scotland, headquartered at Inchinnan near Glasgow International Airport.

CITB-ConstructionSkills Scotland boasts its own scaffolding training area housed at its on-site training college at Inchinnan. However, recent high demand in the scaffolding trade in the north of the country has seen the Scottish centre fully booked out until March 2013.

Graeme Ogilvy, Scotland director of CITB-ConstructionSkills, said: “The country, particularly the north of Scotland, is currently experiencing an increased demand for fully-qualified people working in the scaffolding sector.

“The training facility based at our Scotland headquarters has been operating to full capacity for some time now and is booked solid until next spring.

“It is important to react quickly in order to satisfy demand in specific trades across the construction industry. The decision was made to help meet this growing demand and to send the Scottish apprentice scaffolders to the National Construction College as any delay would have a further knock-on effect for the industry.”

During their two-week stay at the National Construction College, Europe’s biggest provider of training allied to a comprehensive range of trades and professions, the apprentices worked from 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

As the group attend the college during the two-year Modern Apprenticeship, they will work each day in a huge hangar learning every aspect of the scaffolding profession.