Council gives Midlothian youngsters a bright future

Picture shows from left to right: Robbie Mason, Euan Russell, Jason Aitken and Robbie Muir.
Picture shows from left to right: Robbie Mason, Euan Russell, Jason Aitken and Robbie Muir.

Testament to its commitment to positive destinations for school leavers, Midlothian Council has taken on four new roads services apprentices.

Robbie Muir (16), Jason Aitken(17), Robbie Mason (17), and Euan Russell (17) were among 32 applicants for the two-year apprenticeship scheme, which includes 13 one-week study blocks in road building at Edinburgh College.

Euan, who, like Jason and Robbie Muir, went to Newbattle High School, said: “I’m enjoying learning new skills while studying for a qualification and getting paid.”

The trainees will get supervised training and a recognised SVQ2 qualification. Typical tasks include laying kerbs and drainage pipes and getting involved in the weather emergency service throughout the year. The four young men are looking forward to the coming months, with winter traditionally a busy time for the roads team.

All the apprentices describe themselves as ambitious and were well prepared for their interview. While Robbie Mason had attended a special workshop about interviews and application form skills at Dalkeith High School, Jason was supported during the application process by his guidance teacher. Robbie Muir too had done his homework about why he wanted the job. The four school leavers are now aiming to have a great career with the council.

Councillor Bob Constable (SNP), cabinet member with responsibility for positive destinations, wants the youngsters to aim for the top.

He said: “Improving opportunities for school leavers and making sure as many of your young people as possible go on to get a job, secure further training, a job or volunteer, is one of three priorities for us here at the council. If these young men are committed, ambitious and work hard, they have a great career ahead of them whether they want to be a road worker, manager, engineer or indeed the chief executive.

“Our advice is always to aim high.”