Traditional building skills for pupils

Unique course for school leavers

Lime Centre visit December 2019

A group of nine pupils from Coatbridge have taken part in a course in traditional building skills as part of our school winter leavers' programme.

The S5 pupils attended the Scottish Lime Centre Trust in Fife to learn new skills using lime technology in repairing and building traditional buildings, including harling, rendering, slating and rubble wall building.

This was funded by the Coatbridge Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS), which supports the regeneration of the town centre within the Blairhill and Dunbeth Conservation Area.

The winter leavers programme assists pupils who leave at the end of December aged 16, by offering an individualised timetable which includes work experience in their chosen sector, attending New College Lanarkshire to obtain an employability award and accessing support from Routes to Work and Skills Development Scotland.

Pupils taking part in the traditional building course had expressed an interest in a career in the building industry. Their experience at the Scottish Lime Centre Trust gave them unique, practical skills and knowledge to help them secure a job or further training opportunities, and some of the pupils are interested in a career in this field as a result.

The Scottish Lime Centre Trust promotes the knowledge and traditional skills required for the conservation, repair and maintenance of the historic built environment.

Yvonne MacBean, Learning Pathway Co-ordinator in the council's Education and Families Service, said: "Pupils who leave school in December can often feel disengaged from formal education so our winter leavers' programme offers them an opportunity to learn in a work environment, gaining skills to help them in the workplace.

"They receive industry relevant qualifications such as the CSCS card needed to work on a construction site, first aid at work and food hygiene and each young person is matched with a volunteer mentor who offers career focused one-to-one mentoring and support.

"The Scottish Lime Centre course gave the pupils an insight into an aspect of the building industry they had not experienced before, and they enjoyed working with different building materials, learning new skills and building techniques.

"This innovative programme has been very successful to date with pupils learning a range of new skills and having a network of support and options open to them which would not be in offer to them at school. This has dramatically improved their life chances and their chances of obtaining a positive destination when they leave school."

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