Company boss swaps roles to highlight importance apprentices

A DIRECTOR of a leading Scottish civil engineering company has gone back to the floor for Apprentice Week.

Boss Paul Adams swaps roles with apprentice Lewis Elder

Paul Adams who works for Daviot Group swapped places with one of the firm’s junior members of staff to give him a reminder of what it’s like to be in a less senior role.

He swapped with apprentice Lewis Elder who is studying with the firm for a BSC in Quantity Surveying with the Glasgow Caledonian University.

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Lewis took on Paul’s daily tasks such as dealing with shareholders and development of the business.

The pair exchanged roles to mark Scottish Apprenticeship Week this week, and is organised by Skills Development Scotland.

Paul who has worked with Daviot, whose headquarters are in Inverness, for five months explained why taking on apprentices is so important to the company.

He said: “Having apprentices on board is the key ethos of the company. We want to take on young, local people and provide them with good employment opportunities.

“It’s very difficult to recruit in this industry locally. Having apprentices mean we invest in the local work force and we train the people to our standards.

“It also means they get to know the company and hopefully as they have been given an opportunity, they remain loyal to us. Our aim is to have an apprentice who stays with us and works their way up into one of the senior positions. That would be a huge success story.”

Paul added: “Lewis has a wide range of skills. We train our apprentices so they can turn their hand to anything.”

He looked forward to getting out on site for the day, as his job is often desk bound.

Paul added: “Meanwhile, Lewis had to deal with shareholders, compliance, and human resources to name but a few of the things I have to get involved with.

“My job is non-stop. I think the sheer amount of email and telephone communication I do in a day may surprise him. It’s a good opportunity though and will give him a great insight.”

Lewis has been working with Daviot since last spring and travels down to the central belt every Friday to attend lectures and the rest of the week is spent at the firms HQ in Inverness.

He already has a HNC in quantity surveying with Inverness College UHI and started working with Daviot just before he finished the course last spring.

He said: “As I was finishing my HNC, I wanted to find work with a company that would support me to further my qualifications so was pleased when I found Daviot.

“I’m not really a classroom learner, so being able to work, get paid, but learn on the job and have some time away down at the university in Glasgow is a really good compromise. I have learned so much more from working in this way than I have just sitting in a lecture hall at university.”

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Daviot Group is an industry leading specialist in Earthworks and HVDC Land Cable Installation.

In recent years the team has been involved in a number of high profile civil engineering projects including the £10M Beauly Denny Overhead Transmission line.

They also worked on the site infrastructure works for the new UHI Campus in Inverness, improvements at Gleneagles for the Ryder Cup and carried infrastructure upgrades at Inverness Airport.

Daviot Group is currently working in both Caithness and Moray with SSE and ABB.