Opportunities for Learning
The development of Knockroon is intended to maximise opportunities
for employment for local firms and local people.
Young people are being encouraged to try their hand at traditional skills such as slating, stonemasonry, joinery, rendering and bricklaying through links with schools and colleges. Developers, Hope Homes, in conjunction with other bodies including the Prince’s Charities and East Ayrshire Council, want to attract people into the construction industry, with a bias towards traditional skills aided by new technology.
Existing craftsmen will also have the opportunity to learn more about traditional skills helping them to access a wider range of contracts.
The work at Knockroon complements the courses run at the Traditional Skills Training Centre in the grounds of Dumfries House.
The Building Skills Initiative is run as a partnership between The Wee House Company, Hope Homes and East Ayrshire Council. The initiative enables us to educate and involve young people through hands-on training, alongside our own experienced craftsmen. We feel that this is vital to aiding regeneration and ensuring sustainability in local areas.
The Building Skills Initiative began life as the Knockroon Enterprise Initiative, a partnership with East Ayrshire Council which promoted the training of twelve fifth year pupils from Auchinleck and Cumnock Academies, over the course of a school year. Following the success of this initial project, the Building Skills Initiative was created to further advance this into a full-scale training programme for young people.
The Building Skills Initiative is there to complement the existing education that our students receive in school. By working alongside skilled craftsmen, they not only gain first-hand experience of many trades, from joinery to plumbing, but also develop the skills and attitudes that help to ready them for the world of work. To say, at the age of 16 or 17, that you have built a house, gives a true feeling of accomplishment.
Alongside the practical trade skills, students also receive training in presentation, interview skills and CV writing. Altogether, the hard work that our students contribute enables them to leave the initiative with an SQA Level 4 Employability Award, a Skills for Work: Construction Award and a wealth of experience of the building trade. They are a sound investment for any employer.