This successful project has increased the number of construction trades apprentices (electricians, plumbers and builders) in the National Park. The project arose from the Park communities themselves identifying the issue through Area Network meetings and community action plans.
(Photos: Andrew & Alan Newman Alan Beaton & Ben McAlpine)
A shortage of construction tradespersons and the loss of young people from the Park – mainly due to a lack of accessible training and jobs opportunities – were significant concerns raised by the communities. This resulted in a proposal to address these through the development of a special apprenticeship support scheme.
A feasibility study confirmed that the Park lagged behind the rest of Scotland in the ratio of apprentices to tradespersons. A pilot project was developed by the Community Partnership to address this and work to remove or alleviate the barriers to employing young people. The project started in 2008 with the first intake of apprentices and the final apprentice completes his apprenrticeship this year (2014). The project was launched by John Park MSP.
(Photos: David & Neil Allan Jason Campbell and Scott Thomson)
The project is described fully in an Interim Report which was published in 2009.
Over the life of the project there have been 19 apprentices and 17 businesses participating.
The project is managed by a volunteer Community Partnership director, supported by an administrative assistant and advised by a steering group of industry training professionals.
The major sponsors, who are all identified with an individual small business, include:
- Rural Stirling Housing Association
- Arnold Clark Automobiles
- Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park
- Contract Scotland
- The Walker Group
- Stirling and Argyll & Bute Councils , and
A number of charitable organisations, including Park based development trusts, have contributed funds. These include:
- Hugh Fraser Foundation
- Ancaster Trust
- Cruden Foundation
- AMW and JTH Trusts
- Benmore and Kilmun
- Gartmore and Strathfillan CDTs