It’s never too late to learn Construction

The Marketing team have been set a task to spend a day in the life of a student. Our aim is to provide an insight into some of our courses to help us provide better information to applicants.

Hayley Trousdale, Digital Marketing Assistant spent a morning with David McMillan, Level 5 Carpentry and Joinery student at the Kilmarnock Campus.

Now that we are near the end of term, I was looking forward to seeing what David has been working on and how he has found this year being on the course.

What made you choose this point in your life to come to college?

“I have previously worked in labouring and construction and liked it, so I realised this was the right time to do a college course, as I really want to focus on that line of work. I wondered if I was going to feel left out because I was a bit older but I went for my interview, and there were 2 or 3 others there about the same age.”

What worries did you have about returning to education?

“I did have a few, but the main one was if I would be able to keep up with the work and able to do it?”

From going along to meet David in the workshop, I could tell that he was focused on the project he was working on.  David said, “I always wondered if my standard would be good enough and if I would be able to keep up with the younger students in the class?”

He is clearly very pleased with what he has done so far. From doing the course this year, he is happy with what he has been able to achieve. It was great to hear that he is enjoying his course. He said “I get on with everyone, sometimes it does help being an old head in a young group.”

Why did you choose this course?

“The further I got into the construction industry, I realised I wanted to work in a hands-on job. I thought this is for me, I’m doing this.” David explained that his family and friends have been very supportive and encouraged him to follow his dream. “I would do work at home and fix things. People would say, why do you not focus on that? Which made me realise that this is what I want to be doing.”

IMG_9243 - David McMillan 24.05.18

Tell us about your learning experience

“I’m learning new things all the time and doing things I haven’t done in years. This year, there has been a bit more pressure but it is a higher level and the learning experience has been different each year. I have managed it and I do quite like a challenge.”

David told me that he realises that he is more confident in doing things now and impressed that he can do these tasks without asking someone else to do them. “I’ve found that this year I’ve learnt more and I’ve learnt different ways to do simple things, but it has helped me in the best way possible.”

What’s a typical day like for you?

“It depends on the day, it’s a mixed bag between theory and practical. Each day is different depending on the projects we are working on.”

What types of projects have you been working on?

“Last year, around Christmas time we built Santa’s Grotto.” David told me that he was really pleased with the project. “It was great to see the finished product. You get a sense of pride from doing projects.”

The class have also been involved in making an Arbour seat (an enclosed bench for the garden) and this year they have been involved in making a wishing well for a school.

David said that he is looking forward to the next project of working on a fitted kitchen for a church. He said, “It will involve going out and getting experience, you know what you are making is going to be used and you are putting back into the community.”

Do you do projects as a group or individually?

“Most projects are done as a group but it is a bit of both. Sometimes, if you have spare time, you can practice your joints or make a box, it’s good to keep busy and keep your skills sharp.”

What has been your favourite project?

“Everything has been a new experience for me. There were things that I could do before but felt that I wasn’t that good at them. Whereas now, I have been shown the proper way to do them and take pride in producing a more professional finish.”

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Is there anything you would do differently?

“I wish I had applied earlier and done this course when I was younger.”

Do you have any advice for other adults thinking about returning to education?

“Just do it, don’t let anything hold you back. I’ve found that if you are worried about something it can hold you back a bit more than you think. Let go of whatever you’re thinking and go for it.”

Are you glad you came to college? Was it worth it?

“Oh, definitely. People have said to me that they have seen a real difference in me with my confidence and that it has changed since I started college.”

What are you going to do next/what are your plans for the future?

“My plan for next year is to do the Level 6 Joinery course at Ayr and then employment after that.”

I liked hearing about David’s time at college and can see that he has enjoyed his course. I mentioned to him that he had made me want to do the course and his response was, “Go for it.”


For more information about our Construction courses click here

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