Seeking to find a way to offer skills training and an outlet for the practical application of these, especially for students who struggle to stay engaged in a school environment, the Community Trade Hub in Buckhaven collaborated with Waid Academy and offered a small group of Waid Academy pupils the chance to take part in their Guided Start programme in Construction Skills.
The Community Trade Hub has converted and equipped its premises as a bespoke craft training centre and additionally offer hospitality training and IT training from two other premises, including the Hydrogen Centre, Methil. Kenny McAllister, the Director of The Community Trade Hub is a great proponent of work-based learning.
The Community Trade Hub’s Guided Start project is a multi-level programme with two groups of four pupils initially taking part in level one, a 10 to 12 one-day-a-week construction training sessions last spring. During these sessions qualified tradesmen work through a range of skill-based activities in various disciplines, from joinery to tiling and painting and decorating. Upon successful completion of their level one, this session, four pupils have progressed onto the level 2 of this programme.
In session two, again under supervision of qualified tradespeople, they have been refining their skills out in the community on a number of projects which has included fitting a kitchen in a community hall to building a bin store to hide recycling bins.
As well as skill building, taking part in this has given the students greater responsibility for their own actions in areas such as getting to their work on time, being prepared for their working day, working within the community and interacting with the general public, health and safety and that of others, as well as pride in their finished work. They will also gain their SQA Work Placement Award and are working towards their Personal Development Self and Work Award.
Working on this programme has increased participation for these pupils and positively benefits their mental health and well-being. When asked about what they are doing at school this year by external partners the work experience they are doing at CTH is the one thing they confidently want to talk about.
Participant Blair Hutchison (S5) said, “I love going to the Trade Hub, you are treated like and adult and you get to say how you think things should be done and work together to do actual jobs”.