April 1st 2024

Meet Trainee Timber Frame Design Technician, Benjamin Barrie

The construction industry has opportunities for people at all stages of their careers, including school leavers who are ready to take their first step into the working world. At Kirkwood Timber Frame, we take great pride in the team we have built over the years which is complete with both vastly experienced construction experts, as well as individuals who are just starting in their careers.
Meet Trainee Timber Frame Design Technician, Benjamin Barrie

Benjamin Barrie is our Trainee Timber Frame Design Technician and joined us from Alford Academy in July 2023. We recently caught up with Benjamin to discuss how he has found life after school at Kirkwood Timber Frame, and why he would recommend this career path to other school leavers.

Could you tell us about the joining process, and how you discovered the role?

“At Alford Academy, I started doing graphic communication in S1 and by the time I was in S3 I really enjoyed it. I picked the subject again in S4 and S5, and although I struggled at times, I was interested in the practical side. I like that you start with a blank screen and by the end, you would have an example of a house.

“I also went to college and completed my Skills for Work: Engineering module qualification while I was at Alford Acadamy. I really enjoyed the project I worked on there because it was a case of starting from scratch, and then designing and drawing a wind turbine in CAD (a design software) with the teacher's help. I liked coming up with an idea for the design and then getting to draw it up. I knew then that I wanted to get a job where I could keep doing something like that.

“One of my neighbours is David Thomson - Kirkwood Timber Frame’s Operations Planning Coordinator. He told me about Kirkwood Timber Frame and encouraged me to attend the careers fair taking place at Alford Academy - I knew I was ready to leave school, but just wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do. I met the team at the fair who told me about the role of Trainee Timber Frame Design Technician and I was really interested in it.”

What motivated you to choose this career path?

“When I reached the end of 5th year at school, I wanted to get out and work rather than return for 6th year. I was really interested in construction, engineering and designing thanks to my experiences at school and college, and after speaking to David and going to the careers fair, I had a good feeling that this is what I wanted to do once I finished school.”

What’s your day-to-day like as a Trainee Timber Frame Design Technician?

“The role of Trainee Timber Frame Design Technician is great for learning from the other design technicians at Kirkwood Timber Frame. Over the past few months, I’ve been working closely with Timber Frame Design Technician, Neil Rennie, who has been showing me the ropes of the software used to design the timber frame kits. The role has been very hands-on and I enjoy learning new things from everyone in the team.”

What’s your favourite thing about working at Kirkwood Timber Frame?

“My favourite thing so far has been the chance to learn about the design software and how it works. It’s a nice feeling knowing that you have had some input in designing homes for people.

“I’m glad to have taken this first step in my career and to be enjoying working life. I’m looking forward to the future with Kirkwood Timber Frame, where I can become more involved in bigger projects while continuing to learn from our great team of people.”

What has surprised you about the role?

“I was surprised by how different it was going from high school to working full-time in an office - it takes time to get used to the new routine. However, I’ve enjoyed getting to grips with it and would recommend it to anyone interested in construction.”

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