GPH Builders Merchants’ first ever apprentice, Calum Insh, talks about his time with the company

It’s Scottish Apprenticeship Week so we thought it would interesting to interview GPH Builders Merchants first ever apprentice, Calum Insh. Calum is 16 and took up his apprenticeship as a Trainee Sales Advisor in January – he’s based at the Inverurie branch.

Q: What interested you in joining GPH as an apprentice?

A (Calum): I was initially keen to learn a trade to become a joiner or bricklayer etc. but the opportunity to develop a role in sales was really appealing, once I had time to properly think about it. It felt like a great opportunity and one I wanted to grab with both hands. I’m their first apprentice so I want to make a big success of the role.

Q: Your apprenticeship is 3 years. It’s quite a commitment, how do you feel about that?

A (Calum): I’m excited to think about how much I’m going to learn during this time. I’ve already learned so much and I’ve only been in post a few weeks. This is an investment in me, it’s an opportunity to become very knowledgeable about GPH and the role I’m training for. There’s a great wealth of experience among the staff and I’ve been made to feel very welcome. I’m very well looked after.

Q: What types of things have you been learning?

A (Calum): I’ve been getting to know all about the business and as you would expect for a business this size, there’s a lot to learn! I’m based at the Inverurie branch so a great deal of my time has been spent at the sales counter – speaking to and assisting customers. I’ve also spent time in the timber shed and behind the scenes in the sales office.

Q: What do you love most about the experience?

A (Calum): I’m a very social person and this business is all about dealing with people so it’s ideal for me. Outside of GPH I’ve not had a lot of opportunities to interact with people out with my own age group. So it’s great to gain the confidence and experience to help and serve customers of all ages.

The thing I love the most is learning something new every day. It’s a very interesting and varied environment to work in and I’m just delighted I’ve been given this opportunity.


Scottish Apprenticeship Week runs from the 5 to 9 March and there have been lots of events happening across the country. This year’s theme is ‘Apprenticeships are the Business’.

Apprenticeships are designed to help you learn by getting hands-on experience with an employer. It’s also known as work-based learning. You can find out more here.

GPH Builders Merchants plan to take on another new apprentice in the very near future so watch this space!