Graduate Programme Opportunities
Craig samples island life
As a young boy growing up in Scotland’s industrial heartland of Falkirk, Craig Maxwell never envisaged that one day he would find himself working on a construction site in one of the country’s most stunning island locations.
The university graduate has to pinch himself at times as he carries out his daily duties on the site of the new Skye, Lochalsh and South West Ross Community Hospital in Broadford, which hub North Scotland is delivering on behalf of NHS Highland.
Craig, 23, is a graduate construction manager with Balfour Beatty, our main contractor on the project to construct two new hospitals on Skye and in Aviemore. One of the key community benefits for this project is the opportunity to employ graduate recruits at the start of their careers in construction.
For Craig, that chance came after he completed a four-year degree in construction management at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. The course included a placement on the £350 million Aberdeen South Harbour expansion project, the largest marine construction scheme under way in the UK.
He applied for a place on the Balfour Beatty Emerging Talent programme and after a successful application process, was offered the Skye role during an interview.
Craig admitted: “I had never been to Skye in my life before. I think the closest I had been was a family holiday in Nairn when I was three or four years old. It is a beautiful island and the scenery is incredible. However, I don’t know if I will ever get used to the sheep wandering all over the roads.”
The construction site is in a landmark location on the shores of Broadford Bay looking across to the Skye Bridge and the mainland and in the shadow of the 721m high Beinn Na Caillich, one of the Red Cuillin hills.
It has been described as the UK’s most beautiful construction site location, but Craig has had little time to sit back and admire the view as he gets to grips with the role along with the changes in working practices as a result of the current COVID-19 measures.
He explained: “There has been a lot to review and take in but there is a great depth of experience in the team here and they have all been very helpful. The locals have also been very supportive and kind. This has been a great start to finding my feet in the industry and I want to get as much experience as I can.”
This summer has also seen the Skye site provide a Balfour Beatty work placement for Inverness College UHI graduate Leon Clifton, who spent his assignment working with the digital team on 3D modelling.
Fraser Innes, Operations Director for hub North Scotland, said: “Craig’s employment and Leon’s work placement are good examples of the type of unseen benefits these types of construction projects bring.
“Hub North Scotland’s projects have seen more than 120 graduates get permanent jobs and work placements. Giving them these opportunities is vital to help ensure the industry has a continuing workforce.”
← back to projects