Construction Crafts

Construction is a vitally important sector that contributes greatly to the economic growth of the country. It is one of the UK’s largest industries employing over 2.5 million people and is one of the most diverse industries in the UK. Our industry has a wide range of professions which can be suited to everyone’s needs.

Do you want to be part of an innovative and exciting industry that saves people money, makes people feel more comfortable, keeps people clean and warm, and have a direct impact on helping our environment to create a more sustainable and healthier planet?

We offer a very diverse level of curriculum courses from entry-level SCQF 4 to apprentice and advanced craft SCQF 6/7. This allows learners of all levels the opportunity to learn and enhance their skills. Our staff have a wealth of industrial and educational knowledge and experience, including a WorldSkills trainer ambassador to support, nurture and train all candidates to showcase their skill and be the very best they can be.

Our Arbroath and Kingsway campuses have multi-functional workshops kitted out with modern tools and equipment providing a supportive environment that helps provide creative and practical learning facilities.

Joan's Story

Fully trained as a midwife and a qualified psychotherapist, 55 year old Joan Southcott already has quite a few strings to her bow. She has even spent 15 years of her working life in Australia, so if you were looking at some people’s bucket lists you would think that there wasn’t much more to achieve.

But that is not why Joan has decided to do an NPA in Painting and Decorating.

“I have given a lot of myself over my working life and what is the point of telling others to look after themselves if you don’t follow your own advice!”

Joan now works as a midwife two days a week and has retired completely from psychotherapy.

“The next ten or twelve years are about me and doing something which I really enjoy. I’ve so enjoyed the creative element of this course and it’s been really useful to learn some of the IT side of things so that I can generate estimates and bills when the time comes.”

Joan sees painting and decorating not only as a creative outlet but as a great way to stay fit as she heads towards retirement.

Janine's Story

“I've thought about doing the NPA Painting and Decorating course for years. I have always had a passion for design and being able to pour that passion into a job I love is something I have wanted for a long time. I love the physical element of painting and decorating and over the years as I did more and more, I realised it was what I really wanted to do.”

Thirty five year old Janine Ching is currently working part-time as a primary teacher. She still loves teaching but over time has come to realise that she wants her job to be more physical and creative rather than an emotional challenge.

“The fact that painting and decorating is male dominated doesn't bother me. I think gender perceptions have shifted a huge amount in the last decade (although we still have a long way to go) and employers realise that gender isn't a barrier to a career. It's the passion you have for it that counts.”

Here’s Janine’s lecturer, Steve Keenan, “ Janine is one of a growing number of mature people looking to change careers and go into a trade. The College can offer some great retraining opportunities especially in these uncertain times and more mature students in particular have so much to offer.”

Janine is certainly committed and is already planning her own bespoke painting and decorating service with interior design guidance as part of the package. She says,

“To anyone looking to retrain, I say the sooner the better. Life's regrets tend to be about the things you didn't do rather than the things you did I find, so if you have the means, go for it.”

Bobbie's Story

It’s not easy being made redundant aged 22 years but that’s what happened to Bobbie Weir from Dundee. Since leaving school at 17, she had blazed a trail of glory at the city’s Michelin Tyre factory, becoming one of the youngest team leaders on their books. Then, sadly, the company closed their doors for the last time and Bobbie had little choice but to rethink her career.

“I had always loved woodwork at school. There is something really satisfying about working with your hands and creating something out of a bit of wood and some imagination.”

Despite Covid restrictions, Bobbie is looking forward to getting some work experience during her NPA Joinery course and from there to hopefully being taken on as an apprentice.

“It’s great to have a plan in place, especially when it’s doing something I enjoy so much”

Stephenie’s Story

It started as an interest in woodwork at school, progressed to a joinery course at Dundee and Angus College and resulted in an apprenticeship with Stewart Milne for Stephenie Barron.

“I enjoy being practical and I also like maths and floor plans, the more confusing the better,” says Stephenie. “I love coming up with ideas, making them and seeing the end product knowing I made that and the wee proud feeling I get.”

But what’s it like for Stephenie working in what is still seen as a predominantly male profession?

“People are usually pretty shocked. I’m a proper girlie girl when I’m not working. I like wearing make-up, getting my nails done, wearing dresses . . . Everyone at work has been really friendly and supportive."