First steps on construction career ladder

YOUNG people in Carrick have taken the first step towards building a career in construction this week.

A dozen individuals completed the first half of a four-day course in construction skills yesterday – a Carrick Community Councils’ Forum (CCCF) initiative that hopes to boost employability in the Carrick area.

The course, which began at Girvan’s Carrick Buildings on Monday, followed by a day at Ayr College yesterday and two more days of skills training next week, will provide a grounding in the practical elements and health and safety procedures of construction work.

Those who complete it can look forward to receiving an Ayr College certificate as well as industry equipment including a pair of safety boots. Peter Mason, CCCF chairman, said: “The CCCF is committed to supporting rural opportunities for young people and, hopefully, this will not be the first or the last course that we run.

“Interest has been very positive and I hope those involved feel it has been a worthwhile exercise and time well spent.

“In years past it was just a case of walking on to a building site and getting a job as a labourer.

“But nowadays it’s not that easy and young people need to be encouraged as much as possible.”

Julia Whitaker, regeneration and enterprise manager at Carrick social enterprise Ailsa Horizons, added: “If we think back to when John Swinney visited Girvan, he said the Scottish economy would be more buoyant if it were not for the downturn in the construction industry.

“Our aspiration for this is that some of the participants would feel more confident to sign up for a longer course that will give them more opportunities in the future.”