Follow in James' footsteps
James was at the school’s careers event to promote the same sponsorship and employment opportunity that secured him a trainee quantity surveyor’s role within Morrison Construction. Morrison Construction is the principal contractor on the new Newbattle Centre.
James, 19, who is in his second year at Heriot Watt, said: “I’d encourage anyone who was interested in quantity surveying to apply.
“It’s a great opportunity as I’m getting financial help through university and then getting paid to work during my holidays.
“I learn so much on the job and that helps my studies. Morrison Construction staff have also said if I’m stuck with any of my course work, they can give me some guidance.
“Some of my friends at uni are definitely a bit envious as I have a job for two years with Morrison Construction when I finish, which is great.”
James joined Morrison Construction as a trainee quantity surveyor after coming through a very rigorous selection process, organised jointly between the teaching staff at Newbattle Community School and Morrison Construction.
James’ employment opportunity and further education sponsorship is one part of a much wider Community Benefits and Engagement Initiative Midlothian Council has put in place with on its construction projects.
The aim is to create as many local employment opportunities as possible.
Councillor Bob Constable, Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for education, said: “Making sure as many of our school leavers, like James, go on to a positive destination such as a job or college course, is one of the council’s three priorities. I’m delighted, therefore, to hear that another Newbattle pupil is set to benefit from this partnership working.”
Derek Scotland, Project Director for Morrison Construction, said: "The event was a real success and I think it was inspiring for the pupils to speak to James, a local lad who is making such an impact and to learn from him about the value of working hard and seizing opportunities. At Morrison, we make a huge investment in training after all these young people are the future of our business.”
James, on right, is pictured with Stephen Charters, an S5 pupil at Newbattle.