When multi-technical services company SPIE UK announced it was coming to Rutherglen in early 2016, it was a huge success story for Clyde Gateway, which had taken the bold step of speculatively building a £6m Grade A office development at the Rutherglen Links business park. The gamble paid off when SPIE took the top two floors of the four-storey building for their 120-strong Scottish team.

One Rutherglen Links had been built on a formerly vacant and derelict site just yards from the town’s Main Street and busy railway station. Having been attracted by the quality of the building and its excellent transport links, SPIE is now an established part of the Clyde Gateway business community.

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Clyde Gateway works with in partnership with employers and local schools and in 2017 supported SPIE to promote Modern Apprenticeship opportunities. SPIE’s HR and Operational Teams visited schools to present information and answer questions on what the apprenticeships would entail. Pupils were then invited to apply, with selected applicants then attending an informal assessment day.

In August 2017, nine modern apprentices were chosen across a range of disciplines such as electrical engineering and fire and security. Seventeen-year-old Alan Murray, a pupil at St Mungo’s Academy in Glasgow’s Bridgeton, was one of them.

“When one of my teachers told me that SPIE was coming into the school to look for apprentices, I was really keen,” said Alan. “I went through the assessment process and was really happy to be chosen. I first thought about a plumbing or electrical apprenticeship, but when I heard that fire and security was on offer, that really appealed to me.

“I work with the SPIE team four days a week, helping to install fire and intruder alarms, CCTV and door access systems, and go to New College Lanarkshire for the other day. I really enjoy learning something new every single day. Once I gain my apprenticeship I’d love to stay with the company as it’s right on my doorstep. I hope I can move up through the business and become a project manager or operations manager.”

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“SPIE UK takes on modern apprentices every year as we feel that growing our own talent is the best way to recruit and retain tradespeople,” said Clare Matonti, Head of HR at SPIE UK. “This was the first time we’ve gone directly into local schools, and it has been really successful in uncovering high-calibre applicants. Alan really stood out as he was confident, articulate, enthusiastic – and asked more questions than anyone else! I am very happy with how he is progressing. We are really proud to support our local schools and work in partnership with them for our apprentice programmes.”

Clare Ferry, Project Manager for Business and Community Growth at Clyde Gateway said: “SPIE UK is one of the growing number of organisations relocating to Clyde Gateway thanks to the quality and location of the business space, the easy access to public transport and motorway links together with highly competitive rental levels, all of which have helped us attract more than 5000 jobs to the area over the past ten years.

“Clyde Gateway aims to maximise inclusive growth with all our projects by ensuring local people have access to opportunities with businesses located in Clyde Gateway area. We work closely with local businesses to link opportunities with local community needs.”

To find out more about Clyde Gateway, visit www.clydegateway.com