Inspiring Future Tradespeople Through Mark Wallace’s Workshop
Mark Wallace, a former pupil of Balwearie High School, left in 2003 to pursue an apprenticeship in stone masonry. After gaining experience and specializing in memorial work, he eventually established his own successful business. Five years ago, Mark expanded his entrepreneurial ventures by founding ‘Tri Fitness’ in Kinross, driven by his passion for sports and fitness. With a desire to give back to his community, Mark was invited to share his journey with Balwearie High School’s construction-focused students, emphasizing the potential for success through apprenticeships.
Marks’ involvement in the workshop was driven by a desire to inspire students to consider a career in the trades. The value for both parties lay in fostering a connection between the school and successful alumni, demonstrating the possibilities of a fulfilling career without higher qualifications.
Mark began by narrating his journey from a high school student to a successful entrepreneur. He focused on the pivotal decision to pursue an apprenticeship and the subsequent specialization in stone masonry. Following his presentation, Mark engaged with the students, answering their prepared questions. The highlight of the event was a hands-on demonstration of stone carving, where Mark explained the tools and processes involved. Students were then given the opportunity to try their hand at stone carving.
The majority of the students had not considered stone masonry as a viable career option, and Mark’s practical demonstration opened their eyes to the possibilities. His personal story resonated with the pupils, illustrating that success is achievable with the right attitude and determination.
Feedback from Those in Attendance
Pupil: “I really enjoyed that and find it interesting.”
Pupil: “I was actually good at that; I think with practice, I could be really good.”
Mark Wallace: “I really enjoyed the experience; kids were fantastic, and hopefully, I have inspired some to get into a trade.”
Remarkably, the workshop had an unintended positive outcome; all attendees were male, prompting Mark to discuss the importance of men’s mental health. He passionately spoke about the role of sports and fitness in maintaining mental well-being and stressed the significance of open communication with friends and family. Mark’s down-to-earth approach resonated well with the students, adding a valuable dimension to the workshop. The event not only exposed students to the world of stone masonry but also addressed crucial topics related to personal development and mental health.