DELIGHTED graduates have celebrated completing their studies at a new Barrhead skills academy.

Seven students from the A.C. Whyte Skills Academy toasted their achievement at a special ceremony with their families, as many prepared to head straight into careers with the company.

Barrhead-based A.C. Whyte is a contractor in the refurbishment of social and private housing for councils and housing associations across Scotland.

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The family firm launched the academy last September, in partnership with West College Scotland, in a bid to develop a long-term, sustainable workforce.

The industry-led academy provides students with a formal qualification, as well as skills to allow them to graduate to professional A.C. Whyte external wall insulation installers.

During the ceremony, graduates Adam Anderson, Bryan Fleming, Chris Clamp, David McCafferty, Josh English, Kenny Mearns and William James received their certificates of achievement and were welcomed into the company family.

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Jennifer Phin, the firm’s managing director, said: “Quality workmanship is our legacy and our people are our strength.

“Creating the Skills Academy was about nurturing the next generation of A.C. Whyte stars who will continue that legacy.”

Derek MacKay, cabinet secretary for the Scottish Government, added: “I’m enthused to see many have achieved full-time employment with A.C. Whyte. For some, this is clearly life-changing. Having a trade and a skill is hugely important.”