Sixteen-year-old Rory McAinsh shares his journey from school to the world of work.
Sixteen-year-old Rory McAinsh from Stenhousemuir, Falkirk, Scotland, is no stranger to balancing his studies with formal employment.
Coming from a working family that instilled in him strong values of hard work and dedication, McAinsh was encouraged to enter the workforce early.
He very quickly came to appreciate the life experience he got from the world of work and enjoyed the financial independence that came with earning a salary.
“Balancing work and study came early to me as I took part-time jobs from the moment that I was able to work, while also staying on top of my studies and doing well in school,” McAinsh said.
Initially, McAinsh aspired to pursue university education, but as his secondary school journey continued, he discovered his deep-seated passion for the world of work and found himself at a crossroads as he contemplated his future path.
The independence he felt while working ignited his curiosity about apprenticeships, and he began to look into opportunities covering his interests in graphic design and the construction industry.
Reflecting on the shift in his aspirations, McAinsh said: "I did really want to go to university before, but generally I was just following the trends of everyone else's paths and not creating my own. As I noticed that I enjoyed the working life much more, I reviewed all the aspects of university and found more disadvantages than an apprenticeship, for example, student loans."
In September this year, McAinsh began his Marketing apprenticeship with Yard Direct, a specialist supplier of roof windows based in Stirling. He has been actively involved in the marketing and supply of roof windows and a range of other construction products to contractors.
McAinsh has become a key player in recommending the right window fittings and securing competitive prices, and this hands-on experience has boosted his skills in sales and marketing.
Over the course of his apprenticeship, McAinsh's knowledge of construction products, including different types of roof windows and installation methods, has expanded significantly. This newfound expertise empowers him to provide valuable advice to Yard Direct's customers, elevating their experience when ordering construction supplies.
A typical day for McAinsh involves juggling work tasks, responding to customer inquiries, and managing coursework. He has benefited from the mentorship of his supervisors and experienced colleagues at Yard Direct, who have given him guidance and shared their knowledge with him. Shadowing them has enabled him to grasp the essential procedures and best practices in the marketing of construction products.
Reflecting on his journey, McAinsh shares this advice for fellow apprentices: "Take everything you can, absorb everything you learn so you can get the absolute most out of your apprenticeship. With that, hopefully, you can progress along your journey even further."
His long-term vision is to continue honing his marketing skills and build a secure and successful career within the construction industry.
McAinsh's apprenticeship is part of a broader initiative by leading builders’ merchants buying society NMBS, who commemorated its 60th anniversary in 2023 by recruiting 60 apprentices into the industry. NMBS is working with the Builders Merchants Federation and LEAP, on an ambitious apprenticeship programme that aims to bridge the skills gap and shape the future of the construction sector.
Dean Hayward, Head of Sales and Marketing at NMBS, said: "The construction sector needs a new generation of passionate and dedicated staff like Rory to sustain it into the future as it adapts to new challenges and opportunities.
"We are proud to support Rory and other apprentices, who are bringing new ideas and values, enthusiasm and dedication to the construction sector. Their success is a testament to the value of apprenticeships and the pivotal role they play in addressing the skills gap and shaping the industry's future."