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Treble Scotch

Three Portuguese electrical apprentices gained an insight into Scottish life during an exchange visit with Mears Group and New College Lanarkshire

A trio of Portuguese apprentices enjoyed a taste of life in Scotland thanks to an exchange programme co-organised by SECTT. Rui Veiga, Diogo Figuerira and Ricardo Sousa spent 45 days living and working in Scotland to sample our culture and our standard of work, splitting their time between the Mears Group and New College Lanarkshire. The visit was arranged in partnership with Erasmus+ and Portugal’s Centro de Formação Profissional da Indústria da

Construção Civil e Obras Públicas do Norte (CICCOPN). The students were shadowed by their trainer Pedro Campos for the first 10 days, then left to work on their own. Barrie McKay, SECTT Training and Development Manager, said: “I was on the last SJIB exchange programme to Denmark in 1990 and really see the benefit of letting apprentices widen their understanding of other cultures and work life. “This project did have its challenges, but with help from Mears Group, New College Lanarkshire (Motherwell Campus) and my Training Officer Bryan Murray, we managed to run a successful exchange.

I believe they left with a bit of Scotland in their hearts.” Carlos Miranda of CICCOPN added: “I wish to express my deepest thanks for all your efforts in making this mobility a success. I hope this will be the first of many projects.” Gerard Malone, General Manager, Mears Group, said: “We pride ourselves in developing and training our future tradespeople, so we fully embraced this request to provide a solid background for the Portuguese apprentices. “They were with

Mears for six weeks and were fully engaged in all aspects of work. They made great progress and all parties involved gained from the experience. We all agreed that we identified tangible benefits why the programme should continue.” SECTT is now keen to build on these links and provide future projects for other apprentices. Anne Galbraith, Chief Executive, SECTT, said: “Despite its challenges, this was a very worthwhile project for us to be involved in. The students were given a great experience by Mears Group and a good learning experience at the college. “Barrie and Bryan also gave them a full taste of Scotland covering Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stirling. The students told me that they had a great time and really loved Edinburgh. I would be happy to support these programmes going forward.”

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