Scottish Apprenticeship Week spotlight: Glen Thomson - Scotia Homes
Wednesday, 8 March 2017
Glen Thomson from Ellon has spent five years studying at North East Scotland College. During that time, he has amassed an enviable array of industry awards, qualified as a bricklayer and is now well on his way to completing an HNC.
With both of his parents involved in house renovation, it came as no surprise that Glen was keen to join them by becoming a construction trade apprentice when he left school.
He said: “I started out as an apprentice joiner but really didn’t take to it so I applied for a bricklaying apprenticeship at Scotia Homes Ltd. I’d finally found something I was good at and enjoyed.”
Glen spent some of his time working with an experienced bricklayer to learn his trade, and the rest of the time at North East Scotland College on block release.
Glen’s hard work soon paid off and, in October 2013, he was named the top Stage 1 bricklaying apprentice at North East Scotland College. He followed this up in 2014 by winning the Stage 2 award and Grampian Construction Training Group Trophy. By this time Glen was a time-served bricklayer and wasn’t required to complete further qualifications, but he decided to return to the college to complete Advanced Craft, again on a block-release basis.
In 2015 he reached the finals of the national Screwfix Trade Apprentice Awards, held in London. The following year, he was named Apprentice of the Year at the Scottish Building Apprenticeship and Training Council’s 2016 Apprenticeship Awards and was presented with the prestigious James Birnie Award for Craft Excellence at a special ceremony in the Scottish Parliament. The same year, at the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Apprentice Awards held in London, he was presented with the Inspirational Apprentice Achievement Award.
Glen is now in the second and final year of HNC Built Environment, which he is studying part-time at NESCol while continuing to work as a bricklayer. He is keen to progress into site management in the future. He said, “I’m really happy with what I’m doing and I’ll miss college once I’ve finished my HNC. The staff have been really great and I don’t think I would have achieved as much without their help and support.”