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LET ME JOIN YOU; Trainee carpenter Scott advertises for a new boss.

Byline: By Karen Bale

AN APPRENTICE who was made redundant after just a year is advertising himself after being rejected by 40 companies. Trainee joiner Scott Sneddon has rave references from his previous employer and all his own tools.

But after being unable to find a new job, he opted to advertise himself with the daily Scottish Construction News.

Scott, 16, of East Lothian, said: 'You always hear there is a shortage of building workers. I thought it would be easy to get a job but it's not.

'I've approached about 30 or 40 companies already. Most of them say they're not looking for apprentices this year.'

Through the Construction Industry Training Board scheme, Scott got an apprenticeship with East Lothian firm Steve Stewart Windows and Conservatories.

He spent the last year dividing his time between work and classes at Jewel & Esk Valley College in Dalkeith, Midlothian.

But the company have started using plastic frames, making Scott's joinery work redundant.

Steve Stewart said he was sorry to let Scott go. He added: 'He was a fantastic worker - reliable, punctual and trustworthy.

'But unfortunately we had to make him redundant because of changes in operations.'

Scott's mother, Janis Sneddon, is concerned he faces problems looking for an apprenticeship starting in its second year.

She said: 'I just don't know what it is with the construction side of things - everywhere he goes the door is shut in his face.

'He's got all his tools, great grades from college and has never taken a day sick but they don't seem to want apprentices in their second year.

'It's a shame that he might have to find a new career after finding something he loves.'

CITB's Edinburgh office manager Bill McCrudden said: 'I would recommend that he gets in contact with us.

'The problem with people in his position - apprentices who have been made redundant and not completed their training - is that companies can be a bit wary because they don't know any thing about them and they are not fully qualified.

'Unfortunately, this does happen. When firms who are either in trouble or re-organising then apprentices are at risk of redundancy as much as the qualified workers.'

According to the Adult Learning Inspectorate, only 34 per cent of new recruits are able to complete their training.

An ALI report says three quarters of firms offer new recruits no apprenticeship training Many employers, it says, are deterred from providing training because it is unclear who should be responsible for different elements of the 'apprenticeship framework'.

ALI director of inspection Nicky Perry said: 'The industry is squandering its own future by not facing up to the critical problems endemic in its training methods today.'

Scott's college has given him three months to find a company willing to offer him a new apprenticeship or he will have to leave his course.

Scottish Construction News responded to Scott's advertising request with the offer of a free ad

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REJECTED: Scott Sneddon
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 2, 2005
Words:495
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