Building the Next Generation of Skills

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23 Oct 2020

Robertson Homes is supporting a new building skills course for young people at The Ridge Foundations in Dunbar.

The Stirling based house builder has donated a full range of tools as well as materials to help the teenagers learn masonry and joinery skills as a first step into the world of construction.

The first cohort of 30 have already started the weekly sessions and The Ridge Managing Director Kate Darrah said: “We were asked to provide a practical skills course for S3 students and it would not have been possible without the generosity and collaboration with Robertson Homes.

“Not only has the firm provided an array of specialist tools and materials but have committed to providing ongoing support with site visits and work experience which are so invaluable for inspiring the youngsters and showing the potential of their newly learned skills.”

The Ridge is a social enterprise and runs a range of training and support for people who live in Dunbar and the surrounding area from its High Street base and is also undertaking a major project to refurbish a set of historic ruins on the site to create new uses including a support centre, workshops, an office and a training restaurant that will make use of produce from the garden.

Robertson Homes Managing Director John Murphy saw for himself the work being done on a visit to Foundation and said: “It was inspiring to see the work that has already been done building the outside work stations for the masonry skills and the joinery workshop and then to meet the young people and see their enthusiasm.

“Learning practical skills and then being able to directly use those skills on a project is very rewarding. Our Community Impact team will provide ongoing engagement opportunities for the young people on this course so they get a feel for what a full construction operation feels like and we aim to show them all aspects of the business and professions involved in delivering a project.”

Fourteen-year-old Bailey Buchan is one of the students selected to take part and he said: “It sounded like a good opportunity and something I wanted to do. I have never worked with stone before but I am enjoying it. If I keep going at it and get good then I think it could get me somewhere. Its learning a craft.”

Blair Hood, also 14, described it simply as: “The best day of the week!”

John added: “We will be working in Dunbar for the next three to four years, taking on apprentices to train and it will be great to see the young people progress and qualify.

“It is part of our company ethos that we add to a community, giving long term benefit not just through new housing but wider engagement and we are very pleased to support The Ridge – the work going on here touches every part of the community and I hope it is the start of an on-going association.”

Following the completion of its successful Four Acres development in Dunbar, Robertson Homes is about to start construction of a new scheme in the town that will provide 86 family homes off Queens Road. The company is also developing Dovecot Grange, a collection of four and five- bedroom luxury homes in nearby Haddington.

Back row, L to R: John Murphy, MD Robertson Homes; Cllr Norman Hampshire; Gregor Adam, Contracts Manager Robertson Homes; Kate Darragh, MD Ridge Foundation and James Higgins, Robertson Homes Constrution Director. Front Row: Ridge students.

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