The perfect project for apprentices
Rhurie learns the ropes on £55 million development
At the age of just 18, Rhurie McCallum has already found himself working on some of the biggest building projects seen in the North-east of Scotland.
The apprentice electrician was part of an 800-strong workforce constructing Aberdeen’s new £333 million exhibition and conference centre and is now back at school – working on the £55 million Inverurie Community Campus.
Rhurie, from the Aberdeenshire coastal village of Johnshaven, is a second year apprentice with electrical contractors CHES, who are based at Westhill on the outskirts of Aberdeen and are part of the nationwide FES Group.
He is revelling in his role as part of the team constructing the Inverurie Community Campus, which is being delivered by hub North Scotland on behalf of Aberdeenshire Council. CHES are one of the sub-contractors brought onto the development by main contractor Robertson Construction.
A key element of the community benefits targets for delivering hub projects is for contractors and sub-contractors to involve new, current and finishing apprentices on the developments. Rhurie is one of several apprentices working on the Inverurie site, which is located right in the heart of the Garioch town, next to the existing Inverurie Academy, community centre and swimming pool.
He admitted: “I love working on this site and watching the buildings take shape. It is going to be some place when it is finished.”
Rhurie was a pupil at Mackie Academy in Stonehaven when he decided he wanted to be an electrician. He explained: “I always wanted a trade and wanted to have hands-on skills rather than an office job. I did some work experience as an electrical engineer and realised that being an electrician was an interesting job.”
He applied to a number of electrical contractors and after being interviewed by CHES, was offered a four-year apprenticeship and began in August last year. His training is a mixture of on-the-job alongside experienced, qualified colleagues and four-week blocks at the Tullos Training Centre in Aberdeen.
Rhurie said: “The block release at college is good and is hard work but you get the benefit of that when you are back on site. You learn the technical skills, all about leadership and working as a team. It has helped me outside work as well by making me more confident in dealing with other people.”
He added: “Just now at Inverurie I am installing the container baskets ready to take the cables and wires when we run those through the buildings. It is fascinating working it all out. It is really good to know I will be qualified at the end of my apprenticeship because there will always be a demand for electricians and it is a great trade to have.”
At the end of his Modern Apprenticeship in Electrical Installation, Rhurie will take a Final Integrated Competence Assessment (FICA) test to qualify as an electrician under the auspices of the Scottish Joint industry Board (SJIB) for the Electrical Contracting Industry.
Fraser Innes, operations director for hub North Scotland, said: “Rhurie’s story is a great example of the unseen benefits that a project like the Inverurie Community Campus can bring. Apprenticeships are a key element in underpinning the future of the construction industry and hub North is committed to ensuring all our developments maximises these opportunities.”← back to projects