Never too old to learn a new trade
Construction offers opportunities for all
As a top chef, Patrick MacKenzie spent 15-years working in some of the best restaurants and hotels in Europe.
Now, in an unlikely career change, he finds himself working on a construction site in the Highlands - and couldn't be happier.
At the age of 42, Patrick is living proof that you are never too old to try something new in his role as an assistant site manager for Kier Construction on the new £34 million Alness Academy which hub North Scotland is delivering on behalf of The Highland Council.
He is combining work on the new school with his his final year of studies for a BSc in Construction and Commercial Management at the Sheffield Hallam University.
Patrick explained: "I changed careers when my wife and I decided to start a family and ended up working for Kier as a client liaison officer in the Highlands before getting the opportunity to join Kier's foundation degree programme.
Working at Alness has an added poignancy for Patrick as his father was previously headmaster of the current academy, which has given him a personal connection to the project.
He said: "Moving into construction was a bit daunting and overwhelming to begin with but I pick the brains of everyone on site to gain the benefit of their experience and knowledge.
"Every day is different but working in construction is similar to being a chef in that you need attention to detail and be familiar with the processes. It has been a steep learning curve but I am loving it and I want to progress and eventually become chartered."
Patrick added: "There are so many opportunities in construction and age and your background is no barrier to making a new career."