Building a career in construction

Eight new apprentices and two graduates will join Barratt North Scotland’s payroll in the next year as the national builder gives its support to the Press and Journal’s Apprentice 100 campaign.

Launched on September 4, the scheme aims to create 100 apprentices in 100 days and give young people in the north and north-east of Scotland a pathway to successful careers.

Douglas McLeod, regional director at Barratt, said it was important to the company to create opportunities for young people looking for careers in construction industry.

He said: “The construction industry in the north of Scotland is crying out for fresh talent, which makes bringing new recruits into the industry more important than ever. We are also experiencing high demand for new homes in the region, and to ensure this need is met, we require a strong local workforce.     

Doug McLeod

“For this reason we have committed to recruiting eight apprentices and two graduates in the coming 12 months. Construction offers an exciting and varied career, and testament to this, Barratt Homes has many employees who have stayed with the firm and climbed the ranks into management. Apprenticeships are an excellent way to learn a highly sought-after skill whilst earning a living and building a rewarding career.”

The lucky recruits will work across the industry in a range of trades including plumbers, joiners, electricians and bricklaying. They will all participate in the Barratt Academy – the company’s internal apprenticeship programme. A four-year programme, the academy combines professional training (both on-site and at college) with professional qualifications and in-house programmes. Each apprentice’s development is overseen by a company director, highlighting Barratt Homes’ commitment to supporting success.

Cove teenager Andy Ross was Barratt North Scotland’s first new apprentice of 2015.

The 17-year-old joined the construction team in May as an apprentice plumber at the company’s Burnside development in Aberdeen, where he will receive on-the-job training while attending college over the next four years.

Andy Ross

Inspired to pursue an apprenticeship by his joiner grandfather, who he spent his summer holidays helping, Andy is already supporting the team and gaining new skills by operating tools, undertaking lead and copper work and lagging pipes.

Here is a day in his life as an apprentice plumber:


In construction we start the day bright and early. I wake up around 5.45am, get to work around 6.45am and sign in for the day. I then meet with my journeyman, Craig, to collect our supplies at around 7am. By 7.30am we are on site and making a start on the house we are working on for the day. On a good day we can have all the holes bored out and the waste system installed before the morning break. We stop for a quick snack and a cuppa at 9.30am, then from 9.45am until lunchtime we focus on finishing the remaining pipe work.


We break for lunch for
half an hour at 12.30pm. I tend to take my lunch with me to save heading into town. I then go back to the store to collect any materials we might need during the afternoon, whilst Craig checks with the team whether the customer has made any additional requests for within the property.


For the rest of the afternoon we work on the remaining pipework throughout the property, and if completed we can progress system tests, ready to start on the guttering and lead work the following day. We finish at 4.30pm, at which point we return all our materials to the shed, lock up and sign out. It takes me about 45 minutes to get home, so it’s usually 6pm before I’m in the door and showered.

Andy Ross at work

I like to fill my evenings, and most nights I go to the gym, wash the car, rehearse with my band or spend some time with my mates. I also like to get everything ready for the following day so that I don’t have to do it in the morning, so I’ll make up my breakfast, snack and lunch
before bed.

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