Project case study - Apprentices

This major infrastructure project represented a significant opportunity for young people to take their first steps into a career in construction through earn and learn training schemes. The project provided an excellent learning platform for seven apprentices contributing 360 weeks of work to the project.

Elliot Moir – Civil Engineering Apprentice

An apprenticeship is a long-term commitment for both the individual and the employer, therefore a recruitment approach which focussed

on engaging early and building a relationship with young people with a keen interest in the industry was key to the successful delivery of the placements.

Elliot Moir, from Oakbank in Perth, was a student at Perth High School when he undertook a Foundation Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering at Perth College UHI.

Apprentice, Elliot Moir, on site using surveying equipment
Apprentice, Elliot Moir, setting out on site

Balfour Beatty had supported  the college for several years and Elliot had been on several site visits to meet the construction team on previous projects in Perth.

Community Liaison Officer, Duncan Gardner, met Elliot again at a Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair organised by the Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) team.

Elliot expressed an interest in a civil engineering apprenticeship and the Balfour Beatty project team offered him an interview to work on the Luncarty to Pass of Birnam Project, part of the A9 Dualling Programme.

Elliot was successful and  in May 2019, started on site as an engineer’s assistant. This role gave him the opportunity to work over the summer to see what the job entailed and decide whether it was a career for him. Elliot had a very successful summer placement and was  accepted at Dundee and Angus College to complete a HNC in Civil Engineering which Balfour Beatty went on to support through day release.

Duncan said:

The goal of our community benefits agenda was to invest in the communities in which we operate in a structured and meaningful way. This ensures that as a project, we delivered real, tangible outcomes for local people. I was extremely happy to see Elliot join the project after being involved for a number of years through our wider programme of engagement.”

Elliot went on to become a key member of the project team and made a great contribution to the succesful delivery of the project.

In addition, Elliot was involved in the delivery of Community Benefits by taking part in events with young people to tell his story and encouraging like minded people  to consider an apprenticeship within the construction industry.

Elliot promoting apprenticeships at a school career event at Perth Academy
Elliot promoting apprenticeships at a school career event at Perth Academy

This is a fantastic example of Community Benefits being delivered in Perth & Kinross. To have one pupil go through a site visit, school qualifications and a work placement which have all led to being accepted onto a college course is exactly the benefits we would hope to get from significant infrastructure projects like this one and working in partnership with our schools and Balfour Beatty.”

John Robertson, Employer Engagement Officer, DYW Perth and Kinross

Liam Boyle – Apprentice Civil Engineer

Liam Boyle is another of the Civil Engineering Apprentices who benefited from the A9 Dualling: Luncarty to Pass of Birnam project.

Civil Engineering Apprentice, Liam Boyle
Civil Engineering Apprentice, Liam Boyle

Liam applied for a job as an Engineers Assistant with Balfour Beatty at an earlier project in Perth.

Following a successful interview and after being in the role for several months, Liam was confident that this was a career path he wanted to pursue and applied to Dundee and Angus College to study a HND in Civil Engineering.

Liam discussed his aspirations with Balfour Beatty who agreed to sponsor him through the course on a day release structured Modern Apprenticeship.

Liam was accepted at Dundee and Angus College in September 2018, to study a HND in Civil Engineering. He then transferred to the A9 Dualling: Luncarty to Pass of Birnam project, completing three years of his apprenticeship during the construction works.  

Being able to work on site at the same time as studying at college allowed him to understand how the theory and the practical element of engineering and construction come together. He enjoyed being out on site and being part of the project team building the new road. 

Liam, like Elliot, was instrumental in encouraging young people to consider careers and apprenticeships in construction. Together, they delivered a number of initiatives to highlight their career paths, including delivering Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) workshops, supporting the delivery of Design… Engineer… Construct! at Perth Academy, serving on the apprentice board of the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Group and talking to young people at career events about their journey and experiences.

Two apprentices eating bacon rolls at a Bridges to Schools event at Blairgowrie High School
Promoting STEM & careers (and eating bacon rolls!) at a Bridges to Schools event at Blairgowrie High School