Committee congratulates staff
The Highland Council’s Housing and Property Committee has paid tribute to two staff, congratulating them on their success in gaining new skills and qualifications which are bringing benefits to the service.
Kirsty Maclean initially joined the Service in an administration role and was very keen to develop. She secured a Project Coordinator post in the Project Management Team and, with a strong commitment to her role, was keen to develop her Project Management Skills.
She initially spent two years completing an HNC in Quantity Surveying and was then enrolled in the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen through the Graduate Apprenticeship scheme and has spent the last 2 years completing a BSc in Construction and the Built Environment alongside working full time.
By working closely with her line manager and mentor, Kirsty was given excellent support to ensure that her workload complemented what she was studying, to give her the best possible experience whilst completing her course.
Kirsty considers herself very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to do a graduate apprentice course and would recommend it to anyone wanting to progress their career.
She said: “The subjects taught as part of my course cover a broad range including project management, construction law, construction technology, and business finance and it has been great to apply what I have learnt to my job. It has certainly helped me to better understand construction processes and apply problem solving to tackle issues that arise when managing construction projects.”
Trainee Quantity Surveyor Lynn Fraser also has shown a strong commitment to her personal development. She has spent the last 4 and a half years completing a distance learning BSc (Hons) in Quantity Surveying at the University College of Estate Management, which is based in Reading.
When asked about the challenges and work put in to achieve the results Lynn said: “I found delving back into education initially challenging, however I had a lot of support from both the University and The Highland Council. The whole of the Quantity Surveying team especially played a large part in my academic success and continuous growth in my job role.
“The study route The Highland Council were able to offer me was greatly beneficial to my learning. I can say from experience that to be able to work within the job role whilst studying is truly invaluable. The completion of my degree and development in my role over the last 4 and a half years has given me great confidence, not only in the workplace but in aspects of my personal life too. I feel extremely grateful to have been given this opportunity – this is reflected in my achievements to date – and I am proud to have completed this journey.
She added: “If I had to describe my experience in a few short words, I would say – transformational, empowering, and extremely rewarding.”
Both ladies skills will be in demand as for several years there has been a shortage of quantity surveyors – a legacy from global recession in 2009 which saw fewer students entering construction related courses and a subsequent boom in oil and gas where high salaries attracted many Quantity Surveyors.
Speaking on behalf of all members of the Committee, Chair Cllr Ben Thompson congratulated Kirsty and Lynn. He said: “Congratulations to both Kirsty and Lynn, they have both worked incredibly hard to gain their qualifications while both fulfilling their daily role. They are both amazing examples of how employees can develop themselves. They are real assets to the team and the Property service will greatly benefit from their ongoing professional development.
“Recruitment has been difficult over the last few years, particularly competing with the private sector for staff. We are very committed to doing all we can to support and grow our own talent. I hope hearing about the success in gaining new qualifications and skills Kirsty and Lynn have had while working for our service encourages more young people to consider starting their careers with the Council.”
The Highland Council has a wide range of Modern and Graduate Apprenticeship opportunities being advertised in the coming weeks and months. If you are interested in any apprenticeship opportunities, please view our posts on My Job Scotland and Apprenticeships.scot