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PEOPLE & CULTURE: Meet McGowan #2 – Apprentices James & Jake

28 July 2021

In the second instalment of our ‘Meet McGowan’ series, we would like to introduce two of our newly qualified apprentices, James Duncan (pictured left) and Jake Reynolds-Jones (pictured right).

James and Jake joined the Modern Apprenticeship Programme in April 2019 and successfully completed their CITB in Plant Operation in April 2021, both receiving their certificates and Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) trained operator blue cards. As part of the course, they attended the National Construction College (East) in Norfolk last summer and completed 13-weeks of training and assessment.

James lives in nearby Tomatin and joined McGowan Environmental Engineering as a Labourer in April 2018, before starting his apprenticeship one year later. After leaving school James worked for another contractor and stated:

“I had hoped to join an apprenticeship scheme after leaving Millburn Academy but was unable to find a company that would support me. It was great to get the chance to join McGowan and I have really enjoyed my time with the company. There are clear opportunities for career progression and the importance of caring for the environment was made clear to me from day one.“

Jake lives in Aviemore and attended Kingussie High School before joining McGowan Environmental Engineering in January 2019. Jake has already been involved in the delivery of numerous projects and commented:

“I’ve learnt a lot in a short space of time and have really enjoyed working with different machines on a variety of jobs. The experience gained on the River Nith Restoration project was brilliant despite the harsh weather and tough working conditions! We’ve got a great team at McGowan and I’ve been fortunate to work on projects in some spectacular locations across Scotland and Ireland.”

Ross Smith (Director) has been delighted with their progress and the on-going success of the apprenticeship scheme and said:

“James and Jake have performed really well and worked extremely hard to accumulate sufficient hours on the plant machinery, particularly given the operating restrictions we encountered throughout 2020. I look forward to seeing the boys progress within the company. I'm confident latest group of apprentices who started this month, will follow in their footsteps."

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