Mears Group focuses on growing North Lanarkshire workforce

Through its work with North Lanarkshire Council, Mears Group is focussing on the progression of its local workforce as it supports its apprentices to continue their careers.

Mears Group focuses on growing North Lanarkshire workforce

Reece Paterson

Mears said it is committed to supporting the development of skills across the local workforce and in 2021 hired 23 new apprentices. As part of their progression within the company, Mears works with each apprentice to look at the next steps in their careers and help them to develop the roles they want within the business.

Barry Duncan, managing director at Mears, said: “For Mears as a business seeing our apprentices progress and forge the careers they want, whether that is continuing in their chosen trade or moving to other sections of the business, is very important. Working through the business gives people a vast amount of knowledge and experience and allows staff to grow with Mears, ensuring that we have a strong team.

“Our focus on ensuring that people embrace these career opportunities also reflects North Lanarkshire Council’s drive to encourage vocational qualifications and growing the local workforce. We have a fantastic track record of nurturing talent from the local area, and this is something we plan to continue to focus on.”

Reece Paterson joined Mears as an apprentice painter and decorator in 2015, and during his apprenticeship was seconded to Millbank Decorators, part of Mears’ supply chain in North Lanarkshire. During his apprenticeship, Reece won several awards including the Scottish Decorator Foundation Apprentice of the Year Award. Following completion of his apprenticeship, and with support from Mears, he went on to complete an HNC in Construction Management. Reece is now employed by Mears as a routine maintenance supervisor.

Explaining how he progressed his career, Reece said: “Prior to my apprenticeship I didn’t realise the opportunities it would open up for me, but it became clear early on at Mears that the company would support my ambitions, which was great as I would say I am quite self-driven but having that support definitely opened doors for me which I hadn’t considered.

“I am really enjoying my role, what I am doing now is very reactive, it’s fast paced and requires me to interact with not only the Mears’ team but also North Lanarkshire Council, clients and tenants. Often for the tenants I am providing reassurance to them that we can solve any issues – and it is great to be able to do that.”

Reece is already looking to his progression at Mears and hopes to continue his studies with a university degree in the future.

He said: “The path I can take in my career at Mears is very clearly laid out and I know the support is there for me to progress, which is fantastic. I would encourage others to see the opportunities an apprenticeship can bring. If you are ready to work hard, show up and you are keen to learn there is no reason you won’t do well.”

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