APPRENTICE bricklayers from Ayr's Ayrshire College campus are set to be announced as recipients of the John Mather Award at Ayrshire College this Thursday.

Persimmon’s first two female apprentice bricklayers in Scotland, Billie Murray and Chantelle Muir, took their first steps into the construction industry by enrolling in courses that prepare students for the sector by equipping them with a variety of skills needed in the world of work.

Each year, students within Ayrshire College receive the award which consists of new tools to enable them to make their way in to the world of work without the fear of financial difficulties for essential equipment.

The award is organised by The John Mather Trust to continue John Mather’s lifelong interests in arts and culture, entrepreneurialism and employability skills in the West of Scotland.

Trustees make grants of up to £10,000 to a number of organisations each year, though larger amounts or multi-year funding can also be considered.

Persimmon West Scotland, who work in partnership with Ayrshire College, first spotted Billie and Chantelle through their work in the college and offered both their first taste of construction with a SVQ level 6 apprenticeship in bricklaying.

Read More: Two painters robbed Loans petrol station after turning up too drunk for shift

The duo became the first female apprentice bricklayers for the company in Scotland in September 2022, with both working on Ayrshire developments for the company.

Chantelle said: “I’m delighted to be receiving the John Mather Award at Ayrshire College which will help with providing essential tools for my trade on site.

“My construction career started when Persimmon gave me the opportunity to work on their Mayfields development in North Ayrshire as a bricklaying apprentice.

"The guidance and support since starting has been phenomenal and I would like to thank the company for the opportunity.”

Chris Logan, Persimmon West Scotland Managing Director, said: “We are delighted that both Billie and Chantelle have been honoured with the John Mather Award from Ayrshire College.

"Their time with Persimmon has been extremely impressive and they continue to set very high standards.

“As Persimmon’s first female apprentices in Scotland, they are demonstrating that a career in construction is open to everyone.

"The award is a fitting recognition of their hard work and determination to succeed.”