Parity is needed for learners of technical skills

Motherwell and Wishaw MSP Clare Adamson meets joinery modern apprentices at New College Lanarkshire
Motherwell and Wishaw MSP Clare Adamson meets joinery modern apprentices at New College Lanarkshire

Motherwell and Wishaw MSP Clare Adamson has met with joinery Modern Apprentices earning while they learn at New College Lanarkshire.

The convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Skills Committee visited the college’s Motherwell campus at the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2019.

She met with the college’s assistant head of Faculty of Engineering, Danny Shearer, and its Vocational Programmes manager, Andrew Fretwell, before being taken on a tour of the engineering building where she was able to chat with first-year construction apprentices with CITB (Construction Industry Training Board).

New College Lanarkshire trains almost 900 Modern Apprentices through its partnerships with Skills Development Scotland and a number of commercial contracts.

Ms Adamson was delighted to visit as her father, George Pickering, had started his lecturing career at Motherwell College.

She said: “It’s always a pleasure to visit New College Lanarkshire, the apprenticeship programme and Developing the Young Workforce is so important for future skills and the future economy of Scotland. To see young people engaged in that process is absolutely fantastic.

“What we want to see in Scotland is a parity of esteem between the technical skills that young people are learning through different routes to the workplace and going to university. These are highly trained, highly skilled young people and their contribution should be recognised.”

The apprenticeship opportunities offered by New College Lanarkshire range from Foundation Apprenticeships for S5 and S6 school pupils, and pre-Apprenticeship programmes for school-leavers or career changers, to more than a dozen Modern Apprenticeship courses delivered in partnership with almost 200 employers across Lanarkshire and beyond.

Modern Apprenticeships are offered in automotive studies, business administration and IT, electronic fire and security systems, dental, engineering and welding, electrical and electronic, and life sciences.

Courses are delivered through workplace assessment, day release or block release at one of the college’s six campuses.

Mr Shearer said: “It was a great pleasure to welcome Ms Adamson to the faculty, and particularly our carpentry and joinery section.

“We pride ourselves in providing the best training environment possible for our apprentices and having a visit from the convenor of the Education and Skills Committee allowed us the opportunity to showcase the quality of work that our apprentices produce while attending college.

“Our apprenticeship partnership with CITB is a very import part of our curriculum, and allows us to help train the next generation of construction operatives to support the Scottish Government’s drive to build more affordable homes in Scotland.”

To find out more information visit www.nclanarkshire.ac.uk/scottish-apprenticeship-week.