Pupils get chance to build construction careers at Bellshill academy

Ann Munro and Kenny Ross, headteachers at Bellshill Academy and Cardinal Newman High, with young apprentices and pupils at the launch of the skills academy.
Ann Munro and Kenny Ross, headteachers at Bellshill Academy and Cardinal Newman High, with young apprentices and pupils at the launch of the skills academy.

A project based at Bellshill Academy is offering pupils all over North Lanarkshire the chace to build a career in the construction industry.

The area’s talented young apprentices will have a place to polish their skills and develop their careers in the new NL Construction Crafts Skills Academy.

The facility is aimed at creating opportunities for pupils to move directly into employment, college and training.

It will be open to all senior pupils from schools across North Lanarkshire and will be based on the Bellshill Academy campus.

Councillor Jim Logue, North Lanarkshire Council’s Convener of Learning and Leisure Services, said: “The new academy will provide young people with the opportunity to progress from the 13 vocational construction centres within our schools to a more advanced course at the Skills Academy Level 5, which focuses on the standards needed for direct entry into modern apprenticeships in the construction industry.

“It will act as a hub for modern apprenticeship recruitment for employers, Skills Development Scotland and colleges throughout the year.”

Andrew Sutherland, Executive Director of Learning and Leisure Services stressed the importance of the new Skills Academy.

He said: “Young people will develop their skills ability within the academy alongside core elements of the curriculum.”

The academy brings together a range of partners, including New College Lanarkshire, MEARS, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Qualifications Authority and North Lanarkshire Council.

Young apprentices will be given the opportunity to learn from leading industry experts and enhance their occupational skills. In addition, they will be offered work related opportunities with local employers.

Bellshill Academy headteacher Ann Munro said: “The construction academy provides a fantastic opportunity for pupils at both the Academy and Cardinal Newman.

“Our young people will learn new skills, gain valuable experience and achieve a trade which they can take into their future careers.”

And Willie Docherty, Managing Director for Mears, added: “We are delighted to support this project and give young people the chance to develop their skills.

“Mears are committed to giving youngsters the opportunity to work and so far we have taken on 84 apprentices into the business who attended schools in North Lanarkshire.”