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Construction trainees recruited through a county council apprenticeship scheme have been working to design and construct traditional outdoor cookers for Scouts in Carlisle. The altar fires at Ratlingate were designed by 3 of the recruits and a photo opportunity with Carlisle Scouts will take place at Ratlingate camping centre, Nr Kirkandrews-on-Eden on Saturday 21 April at 2pm.
Ratlingate is a traditional Scout campsite and encourages cooking on open fires. The two new permanent altar fires facilitate cooking at a more convenient elevated level and prevent damage to the site.
The trainees who built the fires are part of a 14-week course put in place to build up to potential employment. The Construction Training Programme is a pilot scheme devised by Cumbria County Council and its partners. Trainees attend a course at Carlisle College for up to three days a week and then gain hands-on work experience, assisting with construction projects, for the rest of the week.
The trainees are involved in construction disciplines including joinery, brickwork and plastering, as well as health and safety and ICT. On completion they are guaranteed a job interview for a paid apprenticeship with a local employer, in partnership with CITB/Construction Skills.
The county council has also ensured that trainees can travel to Ratlingate during the project by utilising their Community Transport resources. Volunteer drivers have been transporting students to the site over the past few weeks as part of the scheme.
Councillor Stewart Young, Deputy Leader of Cumbria County Council, is also President of the Scouts in Carlisle and will be attending the photo opportunity. He said: “The altar fire project is a great example of how the young trainees are using the skills they have acquired to benefit community projects. I know that this project in Ratlingate will be greatly appreciated by the Scouts. The Construction Training Programme is due to be completed in May and I wish the trainees every luck in securing an apprenticeship as a result.”
Eddie Ward, who is an Explorer Scout Leader in Carlisle and also the voluntary manager of the site said, “I am really pleased that we have been able to offer the apprentices a worthwhile practical project as not only has it enabled them to practice their skills, but also it has left us with lasting legacies which will be used by thousands of young people in the years ahead. We are also grateful to locally based Cumbrian Building Supplies for their support in procuring the materials.”
Ratlingate has been enjoyed by local Scouts, schools and youth groups since 1937 and has an ongoing growth in Scout membership.