In our next blog, Ayrshire College’s Digital Marketing Apprentice Catriona Cook meets Worksmart’s joinery apprentice Daniel Greig, for a chat about his apprenticeship and the work he’s doing at the College.
Catriona Cook and Daniel Greig
Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your apprenticeship?
My name is Daniel Greig, I’m 22 years old and I’m a joinery apprentice with Worksmart. It’s a four year apprenticeship and that’s me nearly finished my first year.
What did you do before your apprenticeship?
I was actually doing another apprenticeship in engineering but was unfortunately made redundant 18 months into the two year apprenticeship. I always wanted to do joinery or engineering, so when I heard Worksmart were taking on joinery apprentices I went for it.
I understand you come to Ayrshire College as part of your apprenticeship, can you tell me a bit about that?
The college is brilliant! I get to learn loads, and I go to the Ayr Campus where the facilities are amazing. At the moment I go to college for a two-week block then I’m on site for two weeks. The College is great.
What’s an average day like for you?
Every day is totally different – I don’t really have an average day. In the morning I get all my stuff together and then work on whatever task I’ve been given for the rest of the day. I’m constantly learning new things.
What have you been working on upstairs in the Dam Park building?
There’s been loads going on. We ripped out of all the old facilities, we’ve put in sheeting walls, fitted doors and are working on repairs. There are other contractors working on-site too, so we’ve been working alongside them to get the work completed on time for the staff and students returning after summer.
What’s been your favourite part of working on the new facilities at the College?
It’s good to be working on a local project. It’s nice as well that I come to this college and have been working on improving the facilities that other students will get to use. Another thing that I liked was seeing the hospitality kitchens and restaurants before we ripped everything out, and then I’ll get to see the finished result.
What do you plan on doing after your apprenticeship?
I’d love to complete my apprenticeship, get my trade and then go abroad to work. I’d love to go and work in Canada where I’ve got family. The good thing about having a trade is that you can take it anywhere.
Digital Marketing Apprentice, Catriona Cook Updates us on Progress of Ayr Campus.
As part of my apprenticeship, working with the Ayrshire College Foundation, I am writing a blog to keep you updated on the progress of work being done on Ayr and Kilwinning Campuses of Ayrshire College. The work will see a total revamp of the top floor of the Dam Park building in Ayr and the Learning Resource Centre (LRC), Student Association and Partnership Centre in Kilwinning.
I had the opportunity to visit the Ayr Campus where the work is being carried out to upgrade the hospitality facilities. I met with Janice Steel, Capital Projects Manager of Ayrshire College, for a tour of the site.
The first thing I had to do when I arrived was get kitted out in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Janice gave me boots, a high-vis vest and a hard hat to keep me safe on the building site. I got a health and safety site induction and then was good to go.
Digital Marketing Apprentice, Catriona, in her PPE.
We headed upstairs and signed onto the site, it already looks so different! So far they have split all of the old areas out into the new layout, making the hospitality training and production kitchens much bigger. They have removed all of the old kitchens and ventilation systems in preparation for the new ones being installed. The new changing area for staff and students has been built, new windows have been fitted, the glazed wall which will be the entrance to the restaurant has been formed and the first fix of electric and plumbing systems have been fitted.
The newly formed glazed wall.
The construction site was really buzzing with activity. While we were up there Craig McCaan, who is the site manager from Worksmart gave Janice a quick update on how things were going that morning. There are a few different contractors working on the project. Worksmart are doing the fit out, GHI Ltd are doing the commercial and training kitchens, Redpath Construction are installing the toilets and changing areas and CMS Ltd are replacing the windows and curtain walling.
Janice Steel, Ayrshire College Capital Projects Manager with Craig McCann, Site Manager, Worksmart.
As we leave the site, Janice tells me that they are on target to complete the work in time for the lecturers and students returning after their summer break. She said, “I am really pleased with the work being done, everyone is working together and even doing extra weekend work to keep everything on target. This is going to be an amazing learning space for our hospitality students and it’s great to see it coming together.”
Janice Steel, on site in Ayr
I’m really looking forward to going back next week, I hope to interview an Ayrshire College apprentice who is working with Worksmart and I will also update you on the progress at Kilwinning. It’s a really exciting project and I’m lucky to be involved.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself and a brief history of your career?
I am proud mum of three and grandmother of four who loves nothing better than having them all over for dinner – preferably in the garden.
Background in hospitality sector at senior level followed by a period as a civil servant with a few more jobs in between, prior to joining Chamber in 1999.
Now as CEO I head up team of 17 based at Glasgow Prestwick Airport giving a range of support services to businesses across Ayrshire together with working with schools and the college to increase employer engagement.
I represent the private sector on a vast range of committees, boards and stakeholder groups.
Why did you choose to get involved with the Ayrshire College Foundation?
I have always been passionate about education and helping young people reach their full potential. As a huge fan of the work of Ayrshire College becoming involved in the Foundation allowed me to further expand my relationship with the College and support the wider community.
It’s great that the ACF Trustees sponsored Mission Discovery this year. What did you enjoy the most at this year’s event?
The week was amazing and I don’t really have a favourite part. Overall to see the enthusiasm of the young people who are lucky enough to participate, to hear their ideas, be inspired by the speakers and learn something at the same time was a privilege.
Reflecting on the achievements so far for Ayrshire College Foundation, what are you most proud of?
There have been a wide range of projects supported by the Foundation both large and small in financial terms but they have all made a difference to lives of the people involved in the final results. I would have to say I am proud of them all.
What would you say to encourage local groups to apply for funding from the Ayrshire College Foundation?
Be innovative, dream big, have vision – we want to support projects that support the education and development of young people in Ayrshire. The Foundation can help you reach your goal. Also read the information carefully to see if you project fits with our aims and objectives, seek advice from us if unsure. Make contact with the College also for further guidance.
The Ayrshire College Foundation are delighted to provide funding to improve facilities for students in Ayrshire College’s Kilwinning and Ayr Campuses.
The Hospitality Department, which is situated on the top floor of the Dam Park building in Ayr, is being completely reconfigured. The new area will boast a brand new training restaurant, complete with cloakroom and wine cellar. There will be a production kitchen, training kitchen and laundry room. Students will train and work in the restaurant and kitchens as part of hospitality courses in order to gain real life experience. Lecturers will be able to film cooking demonstrations and project these on to screens, so that students can get a clear view. In addition to these incredible facilities there will be six classrooms.
There will also be new student lockers installed as a further improvement to the refurbishment of the student toilets and changing facilities that took place last year.
Work being carried out on the second floor in Ayr.
In Kilwinning, the project will see some major changes to the campus. The Learning Resource Centre (LRC) will be expanded by incorporating the adjacent room. The work done in the LRC will include new stylish furniture, new carpets and it will also boast a brand new Quiet Study Area, where students can have a tranquil area to focus. There will be two large tables with presentation screens that will be useful for students who are completing group work, six booths and three couch areas as well as four computing stations. This will bring a more sociable feel to the LRC and provide students with a pleasant area to study. In addition to this, there will be a new office for staff working in the LRC.
Expansion of the LRC has begun, incorporating room G18.
As well as the main work being carried out in the Learning Resource Centre, there will be bright, comfortable seating in the breakout areas on the first and second floors so that the students have somewhere comfortable to relax with friends at break times. There will also be self-directed study in these areas and students will be able to work in small groups to discuss their projects.
Bright, comfortable seating will fill this breakout area.
Lecture theatre 5 is set to become a new Partnership Centre, a dedicated meeting/conference room that partners, stakeholders and local businesses can use for meetings, training, celebrations etc.
The existing shop will become a new office for the Student Association. The office will be more visible to students and will be easily accessed via the main reception.
Lecture Theatre 5 as it currently looks from the outside.
Inside Lecture Theatre 5, which will soon be the new Partnership Center.