Courses at Ayrshire College

Foundation Apprentices gain insight into engineering in Ayrshire

Foundation Apprentices gain insight into engineering in Ayrshire

The first group of Foundation Apprenticeship Engineering pupils at Ayrshire College have been travelling around Ayrshire to gain an insight into working as an engineer in different sectors.

GSK in Irvine, William Engineering in Kilwinning, and Wabtec Faiveley UK Rail Scotland in Kilmarnock welcomed the pupils for a tour of their facilities and discussions about career routes within the companies.

The Foundation Apprenticeship class are a mix of pupils from three Ayrshire schools; St Matthews Academy, Greenwood Academy and Prestwick Academy. The pupils are all aiming to pursue a career in the engineering sector and are kick-starting their careers by studying a Foundation Apprenticeship at Ayrshire College two afternoons per week.

During the programme employer engagement is a core aspect for exposing pupils to the industry. Engagement can range from site visits to work experience.

William Engineering demonstrated the inner workings of a metal fabrication company, and showed the pupils the range of products they make that meet stringent project specifications.  

While Wabtec provided an understanding of the rail industry by showing the pupils the types of train overhauls they undertake at the Kilmarnock facility.

As well as delivering an introductory presentation on the global healthcare company. GSK gave the pupils a tour of the sites utilities, demonstrating the size and scale of power and engineering expertise required to run the 43 year old pharmaceutical plant.

Mike O’Sullivan, GSK Site Director said “As a science led organisation we are passionate about supporting the next generation and inspiring new talent.

The Foundation Apprenticeships help young people gain some basic qualifications, as well as valuable work experience and exposure to employers which prepares them for their future career. In our Irvine manufacturing site, we have a well-established apprenticeship programme across a range of disciplines including engineering. I was delighted that we were able to support a visit to give students a real insight into engineering in a pharmaceutical manufacturing site.”

Chris Wilson, Engineering Manager at Wabtec said “It was a pleasure to welcome the Foundation Apprenticeship pupils to Wabtec. It is important to demonstrate to future engineers what engineering looks like in different companies. The pupils were enthusiastic and well-informed about the sector and what they would like to do in the future. We hope to see some Modern Apprenticeship applications in the future”.

This June will mark the completion of the Foundation Apprentices first year of the two year engineering programme. Foundation Apprenticeships are new courses created by Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Government to help to reduce youth unemployment. The programmes are open to S5 pupils to take as one of their school subjects alongside National 5 and Higher qualifications. Pupils complete the programmes at the end of S6.

For more information about Foundation Apprenticeships click here.

13 April 2017

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