Over the past two years, W M Donald has been focused on and leading the development of a two-year Apprenticeship Scheme for the construction and civil engineering sector in the north of Scotland. The company's goal of ensuring the sustainability of the industry for future generations motivated its HR and Operations teams to “make it happen!” Through effective stakeholder engagement, W M Donald completed the development of the two-year Apprenticeship Scheme and successfully recruited eleven apprentices for the first intake.

The apprentices were, and continue to be, supported with everything from getting to Glasgow College for their block release to addressing any literacy, numeracy, or financial issues they may have. After the first block release, W M Donald's HR Manager attended the course in person and provided the college with feedback to improve the quality of training being offered. She also met with North East Scotland College (NESCol) and was instrumental in the reintroduction of a Civil Engineering foundation course.

Today, just two years later, W M Donald has twenty-six Civil Engineering Apprentices, one Plant mechanic Apprentice, and four Graduate Civil Engineering Apprentices in the business, with only one of the apprentices leaving the programme to date. This achievement is a testament to everyone's commitment to supporting these fantastic young people who are suited to their roles and passionate about their careers in construction.

The success of the two-year Apprenticeship Scheme has been phenomenal, and it became clear that W M Donald would not be able to guarantee the minimum number of students NESCol required on an annual basis single-handedly. However, the company overcame this challenge by using its influence within the industry and reaching out to its competitors to offer them places on college courses. These were taken up by some of the other companies, and the feedback regarding their experiences with the apprentices has been equally positive as W M Donald's.

The wider industry has also benefited through the sharing of knowledge obtained to successfully apply for grant funding, and the courses are now fully subscribed. This development is significant, not only for W M Donald but for the wider civil engineering and construction industry across the north of Scotland. The project was achieved during a difficult time for everyone, with the CV19 pandemic casting a dark shadow over everything. Despite this, the Senior Leadership Team at W M Donald understood and empathised with the challenges young people faced and were determined to provide real career opportunities within the industry for those who wanted them.

The work on this project continues as W M Donald looks to build upon its success. The HR Manager has already arranged school visits to live construction sites to help these young adults choose their careers. Getting the apprentices recruited and placed within the company and across the wider industry is only part of the success of this project. W M Donald recognises that they all need to be nurtured in an environment that enables them to reach their full potential. To achieve this, they have been strategically placed with supervisors and teams who will help to motivate and encourage them to develop. This often involves direct coaching and mentoring to support their training and the utilization of their newly acquired skills in the workplace.

W M Donald believes that everyone has the ability to have a long and rewardingcareer in construction and as such we provide everyone with an overview of the career paths that are available to them at W M Donald should they wish to continue with their career development post Apprenticeship. WM Donald has great role models right across the business who share their success stories with the apprentices to encourage and motivate them to be the best version of themselves.

More like this…

View all