Work is now winding down on the new airport terminal at the Marsh Harbour International Airport, which means that the training experience for government apprentices employed there will soon come to a close.
Thirty young men began working with FES Construction in September 2011 when ground was first broken for the new airport terminal and control tower. The agreement was that FES would keep these young men as trainees for 52 weeks. Although numbers have varied due to some leaving for various reasons and others joining, there are a few who have remained for the entire period.
Two young men, Rudenell McIntosh and Clayton McIntosh have been particularly diligent trainees. Rudenell holds the distinction of having been there from day one and never missing a day while Clayton comes very close, having only missed one day.
Assistant Project Manager, McArthur McIntosh, explained that the trainees have worked in all areas of the construction, assisting with carpentry, masonry, plumbing, electrical, block and plaster and inventory. He stated how pleased the company is with the skills they have learned.
“Most knew nothing of these skills when they started the scheme but have been given the opportunity to learn as much as possible and hopefully we may be able to carry some with us to future projects. The electricians are ready to hire two of the young men as soon as they finish with the airport as they like the way they work. They are all anxious to know what will happen to them after this project is finished but we have their contacts so if they have shown willing to go further we will call them,” McArthur said.
McArthur explained that FES owners, Fletcher McIntosh and James Edgecombe, like to help people and wanted these young men to learn so that they could carry the information wherever they go.
“They have the reward of knowing that the trainees have learned a good bit,” he said.
Rudenell McIntosh has worked in the electrical department since day one and says that he has enjoyed it very much. He started from scratch knowing nothing of electrical work and has the satisfaction of having gained so much experience on the job that he can now wire a room.
“It was a great moment when I wired my own room here. When I turned the switch and the lights came on it really made me feel I had done something,” Rudenell said.
He stated that he would like to thank FES and the electrical companies he had worked with on the airport project.
Stefano Curry has had experience in several of the departments. He began in the electrical department, then moved to carpentry and is now working with the masons.
“I have worked hard, beginning with building trenches at the start of the project and I am now proud to see the building up. I am enjoying it and hope to get with one of these companies when this project is finished; it has been great being paid to learn,” says Curry.
Garon Davis has worked with the plumbers putting in fire hydrants. He said that he has learned a lot and would like to continue to do plumbing with FES after the airport project is completed.
Whitmore Pratt is another who is hoping to be taken on as an employee of FES after the completion of the airport project. He started working in air-conditioning but is now with the carpenters.
McArthur McIntosh is pleased with the progress of this entire project.
“Work was begun mid-September 2011 and the airport is expected to be fully completed by December 2012. The contract having been given for 14 months means that the completion date is pretty much on target. Now it just remains to finish the inside with the belts, countertops and plumbing fixtures. During the next 3 to 4 weeks the roads will all be mapped out and we are already moving some equipment off-site. As soon as the new building is completed everybody will be moved over from the present building as that will be immediately used as storage for all of the different airlines,” says McArthur.