Young apprentice eyes up a job at the top with leading Scottish homebuilder

Posted on: Mar 5, 2021

At just 17 years old, Ryan MacIsaac already has big plans for his career. The apprentice plumber has his sights on a top job at Stewart Milne Group as he marks Scottish Apprenticeship Week (1st – 5th March, 2021).

Ryan, who started his apprenticeship with the independent home builder and timber systems manufacturer in 2019, has already picked up the coveted Apprentice of the Year Award at last year’s Trades Awards and is now looking ahead to the next steps in his career.

The former Mackie Academy pupil, joined Stewart Milne Homes after completing his ‘introduction to construction’ course at North East Scotland College (NESCol) Aberdeen and then taking part in the company’s first ‘Apprentice Intake Assessment Day’ more than two years ago.

Successful apprentices, who go on to secure work with the house builder work in a variety of trades such as plumbing, joinery, maintenance and design, undergo a four-year programme to gain the skills and experience needed to develop a career in a sector which continues to face skills shortages.

Ryan said: “Winning the award last October is without a doubt one of my proudest moments. Although I’m still very much at the start of my apprenticeship, I already feel like I’ve learned so much. Not just about plumbing and construction, but about the importance of leadership, listening and being part of a team.”

Currently employing 27 apprentices across Scotland, North West England and Witney, Oxfordshire, the award-winning group is committed to attracting the right people into the industry and providing the best training, mentoring and learning experience to nurture and support their development, whatever their age, gender, ethnicity or background.

Ryan explained: “I was very keen to work for Stewart Milne Group as I knew of its reputation as a good company and a great place to work. An apprenticeship gives you the chance to really make something of yourself, while working alongside some of the best tradespeople in the country.”

There are three apprenticeship routes within Stewart Milne Group: trades apprenticeships, fast-track modern apprenticeships and the graduate apprenticeship programme. In addition, when possible, the group also offers office-based apprenticeships.

Karen Catto, HR director at Stewart Milne Group explained: “Our business is truly built on apprentices. From senior managers to directors, many of our staff have come through the apprenticeship route.

“Ryan is a breath of fresh air. His enthusiasm, confidence and communication skills were obvious from the first time we met at the Intake Day. It’s rare to see these attributes, not only in that type of pressurised environment, but in someone so young.

“He is a determined and ambitious young person. His award last year and his hard-working attitude have made him a fantastic role model for his fellow apprentices and colleagues from across the business.”

And for Ryan, the sky really is the limit. Asked where he sees himself in five years, the young worker quickly voiced his ambition to do as well as the big boss and former apprentice, Stewart Milne himself.

“Looking ahead, I’m striving to return the investment the company has made in me, eventually becoming a long-term asset to the business.

“I’m hoping that after serving my time as an apprentice, I’ll continue working with Stewart Milne Homes where I’ll be provided with the skills and experience that will allow me to build a successful and rewarding career. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be in Stewart Milne’s shoes!”

Anyone interested in becoming an apprentice at Stewart Milne Group should email with a copy of their CV.