Robertson Group’s office in Dundee has seen a variety of young people start their apprenticeships and progress in their careers over the past few years.
The office is home to Robertson Tayside, one of our regional construction businesses; and Robertson Specialist Division, dedicated to trades like rendering, roofing and plasterwork. It is also a base for our Facilities Management operations in the Dundee and Angus area.
This means there are several disciplines in which apprentices can start their working life, ranging from trades to office roles.
For a school student, the career path can begin with a week-long work placement, before starting an apprenticeship. This is how things began for two of our Dundee employees.
Bethany Greig originally came for a week’s work experience in 2016 from our partner school, Baldragon Academy. She is now working full time with Robertson Tayside while studying an SQA Level 3 in Business and Administration, an online course provided by Dundee & Angus College.
Craig Shearer, also completed a week’s work experience at the same time as Bethany and went on to join us as an Apprentice Administrator. He is working in the Dundee office with Robertson Specialist Division.
Alix Stewart (below right) is also with Robertson Specialist Division, and having done her SVQ qualifications has now moved on to a PA/Administrator role.
Robertson Tayside’s most recent recruit is Jack Goodfellow, who joined in 2017 as an Apprentice Business Support Administrator.
Jack is doing a one-year Diploma for Information Technology and Telecommunication professionals. In addition to his work in the office, he studies online and will attend workshops at Dundee & Angus College on Thursday afternoons.
“I will be studying an online college course which is one of two ways of undertaking an apprenticeship. I will be doing different projects and will have one year to complete all coursework. I believe being able to work and learn at the same time is always better as it gives you a feel for the working environment.”
Our modern apprentices in Dundee work under Donna Galbraith, Office Manager who recalls how her own career progressed in a similar way.
“At the start of my working life, I went through a Youth Training Scheme. This took the form of a year in a workplace supplemented by attending college one day a week – I went to Sight and Sound, a secretarial college in Edinburgh. My work placement was with Haden Young Ltd, a mechanical & electrical engineering company where I worked for 5 years. Later on, I worked as a business analyst for a financial company for 10 years, ran my own business for a period of 3 years, and have also worked in a marketing capacity for a development company.”
Hayley Shepherd and Taylor Elder both started in administrator roles in the Dundee office and have progressed to study Quantity Surveying and continue their career in the construction industry.
Donna highlighted Hayley’s positive attitude as a key strength in her progression: “she is someone who will help out – a huge team player and problem-solver who gets things done.”
Hayley was nominated for Robertson’s Young Person of the Year at our annual company awards ceremony in 2016.
And a little further afield, Ken Anderson has been developing his career in Facilities Management. He is based at Carlogie Primary School near Arbroath and works on Robertson’s maintenance contracts with a variety of Angus schools.
Beginning in 2009, he studied the Level 3 Modern Apprenticeship in Management while working as a Facilities Assistant. Then he advanced to Lead Facilities Assistant before going on to achieve his SVQ Level 4 qualification in Management, which led to his current role as Assistant Facilities Manager.
Summing up, Jack shared his thoughts on the benefits of apprenticeships to both the employer and the apprentice:
"I feel apprenticeships are a brilliant way of getting your foot in the door if you are a young work-hungry individual. I believe larger companies are often looking to employ younger people through apprenticeship schemes. It’s a great way for a business to show the wider community their support for young people, providing them with opportunities and helping them to progress."