Braeview Academy completes cities first Transition to Trade for schools


18th November 2020

Braeview Academy has successfully completed the 6 week Transition to Trade programme, delivered by Alexander Community Development. This is the first time it has been offered in schools and the course received over 30 applications from the S3 year group.

Transition to Trade programme

Transition to Trade will be delivered over a 6-week period, in an informal setting, working with a cohort of 12 pupils who have demonstrated an interest in gaining a Trade.

One of the aims of this programme is to remove some of the barriers that pupils frequently face, such as not having the required qualifications or experience.

Throughout the 6-weeks the pupils will undergo training in mindset, confidence, and goal setting, as well as developing the practical skills required to work within the construction industry.

Following this training the pupils will participate in a large scale design and build project, where by working as a part of a team, they will have the opportunity to use their newly developed skills, to revamp a building within their local community. This cohort completed a full renovation of Signpost International’s building and the pupils are delighted with their work.

The progress of this project will be captured in a portfolio of evidence, which they will have either created or expanded upon during the employment workshops that take place throughout the programme.

Youth workers from RockSolid (a local youth work charity in Dundee) are a familiar face to those participating in Transition to Trade. They visit on a weekly basis to offer pupils tailored social and emotional support aiming to reduce any presenting or underlying barriers they face. Which in turn, will allow them to access and sustain future opportunities.

The pupils will also work on a re-engagement plan back into school.

Presentation Day

At the end of the 6 week programme, the achievements of the young people are celebrated at a presentation ceremony. On a scaled back, Covid-19 approved version, this presentation takes place on Thursday 26th November.

Future Employment

Transition to Trade is a positive pathway for school pupils S3 – S5 to into the construction industry. There has been a sharp drop in the number of school and college leavers entering the construction industry, particularly in certain trades and the home building sector. Whilst there many people at college learning these trades, they often are not progressing into those professions after their studies.

Some of the factors that contribute to the skill shortage are:

  • Many are not prepared for the world of work. As a result, employers are reluctant to take them on as they can’t be relied upon on site.
  • Many of them don’t get practical on-site experience during their studies. Consequently, they don’t have the skills to work independently on site.
  • The quality of training they get is variable. While they have qualifications on paper, it doesn’t always translate into good quality technical skills on the job.
  • They aren’t yet equipped to be self-employed so early on in their careers. Therefore, they can’t compete for the construction projects in the same way as experienced self-employed tradespeople.

Kenny Clarkson DHT, Braeview Academy ‘We are delighted to be partnering with Alexanders to pilot the transition to trade course for schools.  It is fair to say that this project has been the talk of the S3 student body, the wider school and the community.

I have been really happy that we ,as a school, have been able to offer opportunities for our pupils to develop skills for learning, life and work both during the training element of this course and then on the worksite as their community project decorating the signpost centre.

This course is giving our pupils an opportunity to develop their self confidence and resilience in an area of work that they had highlighted would be of interest to them as they progress through school into the world of work.  Feedback from the pupils and parents has been really positive and I am looking forward to seeing the end of their community project.

The area of Developing the Young Workforce is of paramount importance to us at Braeview Academy and we are constantly working to engage with a range of partners to help us deliver an appropriate curriculum tailored to all pupils career aspirations.  In the current context of a global pandemic this has been a bit more difficult, but I am really proud of all of our staff efforts to continue to develop links with employers and work base learning partners to ensure that we get it right for all pupils.”

Alexander Community Development

Alexander Community Development has developed from 20 years of work in the decorating trade, both in practise and education. The sister company of ACD, Alexander Decorators LTD has lead the way in developing skill and talent in the trade, and this work will now be built upon in ACD. Within in this live working environment, there will be programmes delivered for children and young people who are looking to gain qualifications and skills that will gain them future employment opportunities.

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