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Team Member Highlight – Dylan Chalmers


Dylan in the classroom teaching

Today I would like to highlight one of the people that make the Transition to Trade programme as successful as it is, Dylan Chalmers. Dylan is our trainee-trainer currently funded through the Rank Aspire programme, this has enabled him to learn on the job whilst upskilling in necessary areas to be accredited by all our awarding bodies. Having been through the Transition to Trade programme himself , gave him a unique perspective on how to improve the programme. He was was added to our team in April of last year through the Kickstart Scheme. I caught up with Dylan and I’d like to share this little interview :



  • What is your role within ACD?

“I am a trainer, plain and simple. I teach the young people about how the trade sector works and help them gain qualifications to get into jobs.”

Quick side note, we here at ACD do not agree with this description of Dylan’s role here, he is so much more than that. He’s not only a trainer but: a valued community member, a leader of Transition to Trade, a fantastic lifestyle and life skills mentor, and a real connection for all the young people we help.


  • How did you come to know about ACD?

“Well, my brother actually told me about the course (Transition to Trade) that he went on, so I thought I’d ask my work coach about it. Went on the course and had a blast.”


  • What made you want to be a member of the team?

“It was a combination of the friendly environment that ACD has developed and the curiosity I had toward the future of the charity. Being through the course and having that life experience, meant I wanted to help people like me. I want to make sure the next generation has the biggest opportunity for success.”


Santa’s Grotto Design and Build Project

  • What has been your favourite part of teaching?

“Absolutely without a shadow of doubt, it’s been the design and build projects. These projects are outlined and set up by the trainers but the entire project is primarily built and designed by the young people. It’s the culmination of all the different skills we teach here at ACD: teamwork skills, communication, tool usage, reviewing work, and learning how to self improve. Santa’s Grotto was a particularly fun experience as everything went better than expected.”


  • How do you feel about your confidence and competency over your time here at ACD?

“It’s been completely day and night change; I’ll be honest with you. My confidence has skyrocketed, prior to working as a trainer if you had asked me to deliver a presentation in front of a classroom, I’d have told you to get lost.” *laughs*”

“As a matter of fact, I nearly turned down the role because of that aspect, glad I didn’t though ‘cause I’ve experienced such a positive change over the past few months.”


  • Your position has been funded by the rank foundation, how has Rank helped your progress?

“They’ve been wonderful to me so far, knock on wood. The additional training budget has been the big game changer, as it’s allowed me to become accredited far quicker than if I had funded it myself. There’s also the fact that I don’t have to pay a penny of it back for any reason, which provides a good amount of peace and mind.”

“Rank itself hosts events that I’ve participate in, and they’ve been fun! It’s been a good networking opportunity, plus it doesn’t hurt that I’ve gotten to go off on some jollies. The members of Rank itself are also really down to earth and easy to talk to people, they’ve been really important in my development.”


  • Coming back around to ACD, what about ACD’s values resonate with you?

“We touched base on this before but the whole community driven development aspect means a lot to me as someone who wasn’t great at school and didn’t get the greatest amount of opportunity. I also feel that it represents the mindset of Dundee and the community that I’m proud to be a part of.”


  • If you were CEO for a day, what changes would you make?

“Well firstly I’d build myself my own classroom and hire a new trainer, so I could help train them up the way I was trained up.”


  • Do have any improvements you’d like to implement to ACD?

“Difficult question. I would comment that, whilst we offer support post Transition to Trade, this would be a service that I would like to see improved and expanded upon as our team grows. This is something that we are reviewing with our new programs, but I thought I’d highlight it anyway. Also, I would like to see an increase of the social support that we offer to young people in terms of mental health. We do some already, but I’d like to see that expanded once our resources increase”.


  • What is the part of ACD you’d like to promote that people don’t know about as much?

“Obviously, I’d want to say myself and the great work I do. However, on a more serious note I want to tell more people about the social help we do offer. We help young people fill out application forms for jobs, young Scot cards, ID cards, free bus travel. I want to see us do more of that but what we’ve done so far is pretty good if I do say so myself.

There’s also our community support part of ACD that does so much more than just food, we also help move white goods and other furniture to help people move into flats. We’ve got our attention on a variety of different areas in Dundee to make it a better community”


Dylan will soon be able to lead his own classes and we here at ACD are extremely excited to see where this his career will take him.