Renfrewshire’s Apprentices

This is Scottish Apprenticeship Week and a chance for 16-19 year olds to investigate the opportunities that a Modern Apprenticeship can offer. Young people who want to learn while they work and are keen to take the first steps on their career ladder can choose from a great range of apprenticeships. In Renfrewshire, there are traineeships in traditional trades and crafts, in leisure and retail businesses, clerical and childcare posts, and in a variety of council services.

Some of Renfrewshire’s current apprentices met with Council Leader, Mark Macmillan, to discuss how they are building careers with local employers.

David Harris, is doing his apprenticeship with Paisley Autocare. He said; “I’ve always loved cars and to work with them every day is a real treat. It’s inspiring when you get the chance to do a specific piece of work on a car. I also value the security of knowing I have a job with people I like for the next four years.

His boss, John Convery is a great believer in apprenticeships. “It’s how we do things in this trade but, more than that, it’s how we like to work. It means we can train staff who’ll help our business grow and we create long term career opportunities for local people.

Claire Crummie is in the second year of her apprenticeship with Napier Hair and Beauty. She was attracted by the opportunity to “earn and learn and work with people who have the same goals. I get to experience every aspect of the hairdressing profession”. Claire would recommend starting a career with an apprenticeship and advises others to “research the industry and employer that you’d like to work with and make sure they can provide you with the training you need to take you to wherever you want to go.

Napier Hair and Beauty is owned by Elaine Napier, who is another firm believer in training and staff development, said, “Hairdressing is a profession that offers great variety and career potential. We make sure that our apprentices get broad training and experience of the highest standard. It pays off for us. We develop great hairdressers for a business where personal skills are vital. It also means that we forge strong, long term links with our clients.”

Also pictured, are Georgia Blair who is an apprentice dental nurse with Foxbar Dental Practice with Declan Hamilton and Connie Lamb who work for Invest in Renfrewshire. They all value learning from colleagues and working towards their future. Georgia says, “You learn a lot quicker and you learn a lot more, I believe that being in the working environment develops your people and personal skills more rapidly.”

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council said, “These young people are inspiring. They are committed to learning and professional development and are already a credit to their employers. They’re building a future for themselves in Renfrewshire and they’re helping businesses to grow.”

Graham McIntyre owns Gormac Coachworks and has employed a succession of apprentices who have stayed on with the business after they qualified. He says,“Our apprentices are part of Gormac’s growth story. We’ve built up a fantastic team over the years and its members are the key strength in this business. To prove the point, we expect to recruit another apprentice later this year.”

Councillor Mark Macmillan believes that apprenticeships are a vital part of Renfrewshire’s potential. “When an employer takes on an apprentice, they invest in that young person, they invest in their own growth, and they invest in Renfrewshire’s future. This is exactly how we want to strengthen Renfrewshire; with real opportunities, sustained business success and cooperation between businesses, residents, the council and our partners in education.”

On Wednesday (20 May), more than 70 young people attended an Information Evening at West College Paisley where they met with potential employers and learned about apprenticeships. To find out more about becoming an apprentice or employing one in Renfrewshire, call 0300 300 1180 or visit