Depute Council Leader visits Persimmon during Scottish Apprenticeship Week

11 March 2024

Merchants Gait Apprenticeship Week

West Lothian Council’s Depute Leader marked Scottish Apprenticeship Week by visiting East Scotland’s Merchants Gait development in East Calder to meet with local apprentices learning the tricks of the trade on the tools.

Depute Council Leader Kirsteen Sullivan met with four of the our bricklaying and joinery apprentices and heard how they are developing their skills and gaining valuable experience in the construction sector.

Persimmon is one of Scotland’s largest employers of bricklaying apprentices – with the our apprenticeship programme including both young people and adults who are upskilling. The current crop of apprentices are undertaking a mixture of bricklaying, joinery and roofing modern apprenticeship frameworks and include the our first three female apprentices in Scotland.

During the visit, the Depute Leader also met with East Scotland region Construction Director Kevin Ferris to talk about the vital role that apprentices play within the company as well as the wider opportunities and challenges the industry is facing.

Councillor Kirsteen Sullivan, Depute Leader of West Lothian Council, said:

"I’m thankful for the opportunity to meet the hard working apprentices at Persimmon as part of Apprenticeship Week and see the role they are playing in delivering new homes in East Calder.”

"Whether it’s young people entering the world of work or adults looking to make a career change, apprenticeships are vital in creating a talented workforce for employers and providing individuals with skills that will serve them for the rest of their life."

Kevin Ferris, East Scotland region Construction Director, said:

“It was great to welcome Kirsteen to our Merchants Gait development and to introduce her to some of the fantastic apprentices gaining valuable skills and experience on our site.

“Apprentices are a vital part of our future workforce and Persimmon has made real strides in progressing our apprenticeship programme in recent years – not only increasing the number of our apprentices but also improving our diversity.

“As one of the largest employers of bricklaying apprentices in Scotland, we’re committed to providing opportunities in our developments for everybody within the communities in which we operate.”

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