Apprenticeships – investing in communities

Scotland's first construction company to be awarded Investors In Young People Good Practice Award. Peter Russian, of IIYP, with GMG CEO Gerry McGinn.
GMG receiving their Business Insider Scotland's Best Employer, Youth Investment Award in 2016.
Training on an in-house rig
Annabelle Ewing MSP and Peter Russian, of Investors In Young People, presenting our apprentices with an IIYP Gold award.
Former MSP Roseanna Cunningham with a first-year apprentice.
Local politicians and dignitaries visit during Scottish Apprentice Week.
Left to right: Jim Martin, of New College, former SNP MSP Alex Neill (SNP), North Lanarkshire Councillor Michael Coyle and Gerry McGinn, CEO of GMG
CEO Gerry McGinn with some of the GMG apprentices.
GMG's Jack Ryan receives the Scottish Building Apprenticeship And Training Council Specialist Apprenticeship Award from MSP Alison Johnstone
GMG's Jack Ryan receives the Scottish Building Apprenticeship And Training Council Specialist Apprenticeship Award from MSP Alison Johnstone

GMG’s employment policy targets disadvantaged local communities, with 90 per cent of apprentices recruited from areas with high levels of disadvantage.

Many apprentices hold no formal qualifications prior to starting work at GMG, so, where required, those in need of learning support are offered assistance.

Almost all of them progress to become tradesmen – a commitment to young workers that led to the company being granted “Investors in Young People” status in 2014 and ultimately achieving Investors in Young People Gold status.

GMG was the first construction company in Scotland to recognised in this way, and it was also heavily involved with the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce (the Wood Commission), which reported in 2014.

Influencing apprenticeship and trade skills certification and accreditation through external activities is a high priority at GMG.

The company works with the Construction Industry Training Board and National Federation of Roofing Contractors to develop SVQ modules and National Occupational Standards, including piloting a Modern Apprenticeship SVQ Level 2 in conjunction with South Lanarkshire College in East Kilbride.

GMG is active in developing relevant and trade-specific training and accreditation (such as in roof tiling and external rendering). This aligns with the operational requirements of the business, so the company can promote seasonal/demand-aligned college attendance and place greater emphasis on site-based assessment.

Creating the right environment for early and continuing skills formation underpins the company’s recent commitment to construct an on-site training centre that:

  • Supports apprentices’ professional development and skills accreditation,
  • Houses on-going trade training activities
  • Provides a space for enhancing communications and dialogue.

GMG apprentices receive many additional benefits, some of which include:

  • Age-related apprenticeship rate.
  • An interest-free £1000 loan to learn to drive which is written off after three years’ service.
  • Direct one-to-one assistance for operatives with learning difficulties.
  • Their first set of tools.
  • Work wear, including T-shirts, hoodies, beanie hats and thermal under-clothing.