Intake of James Frew apprentices learning at Ayrshire College’s new skills hub

Intake of James Frew apprentices learning at Ayrshire College’s new skills hub

Ten new joinery apprentices have joined James Frew Ltd in Stevenston and are now among the first apprentices to learn their trade at Ayrshire College’s new Willie Mackie Skills Hub.

The apprentices - Ryan Comrie, Joey Dorrans, Sam Downie, Jack Halliday, Sean Howie, Shaun McManus, Ethan O’Hare, Craig Patterson, Joseph Smith and Connor Turley - are the first cohort to be welcomed into this state-of-the-art training facility as part of Ayrshire College’s expansion of its apprenticeship programme into North Ayrshire.

The Willie Mackie Skills Hub opened this week. The new skills centre enables Ayrshire College to offer vocational training in sustainable and SMART technologies alongside traditional construction trades. This will provide local industry with a workforce that has the necessary future skills and opportunities to upskill their current workforce. 

With thanks to significant funding from Magnox, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the Scottish Funding Council and the Ayrshire College Foundation, the Skills Hub - named after former Ayrshire College Chairman Willie Mackie - replaces the College’s existing workshop facilities at Nethermains. The Future Skills Hub is equipped with the latest industry standard tools and equipment, that will provide students with an outstanding learning experience. Resources include  Ground Source and Air Source Heat Pump Technology, Robotics and SMART technologies alongside new construction training facilities.

Graham Gilbert, Curriculum Manager for Joinery and Construction Technology at Ayrshire College, was present on behalf of the College to welcome the new starts to James Frew during the apprentices' induction day in Stevenston.

Ayrshire College has been involved throughout the recruitment process for James Frew’s intake for their joinery apprenticeship programme this year.

Anne Campbell, Vice Principal – Skills and Enterprise at Ayrshire College, said: “It was fantastic to see James Frew’s joinery apprentices enjoying their first days at our new Skills Hub this week. The North Ayrshire community being able to now access apprenticeships in their own area is a major development for the College.”

James Frew Ltd's Managing Director, Roddy Frew, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Ayrshire College and can’t wait to see our Modern Apprentices attend the new campus at Ayrshire College. This is our first dedicated JF Academy Joinery class. The plan is to replicate the successes of our JF Academy Plumbing classes. What an opportunity for the young people involved.”

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