Robertson helps Clyde Gateway pupils engineer a career in construction

School pupils from the Clyde Gateway area are celebrating their graduation from a course designed to introduce them to the engineering industry.

Robertson helps Clyde Gateway pupils engineer a career in construction

Pupils are joined by representatives from Robertson, Clyde Gateway, Kelvin College and UWS

Eleven young people from Trinity High School, St Mungo’s Academy and Stonelaw High School have spent ten weeks been participating in the annual ‘Gateway to Engineering’ programme, run in collaboration between Robertson, Clyde Gateway, Glasgow Kelvin College and the University of the West of Scotland (UWS).

Now in its sixth cycle, this programme marked the first that pupils gained an SCQF Level 5 Gateway to Engineering qualification, supported by Glasgow Kelvin College. It comes as the Scottish Government published its ‘New Housing and Future Construction Skills - Adapting and Modernising for Growth’ report, which outlined the importance of STEM partnerships between education and industry in futureproofing the industry. 

Joining the pupils was Jamie Hepburn, minister for business, fair work and skills, who highlighted his support for the programme during a speech at the graduation event.

Mr Hepburn said: “Well done to all the pupils who are graduating today - the first ever participants of this innovative course to complete the qualification. I wish them all the best on their next steps.

“The collaboration between the Robertson Group, Glasgow Kelvin College, the University of the West of Scotland and Clyde Gateway schools to involve young people and employers exemplifies our vision for a joined-up education and skills system to deliver our ambition to develop the young workforce and reduce youth unemployment by 40% by 2021.”

With both academic and practical insight into the application of engineering, the programme included several visits to Hamilton Park Racecourse where Robertson Central West is building a new £10m Hampton by Hilton hotel. Featuring 118 rooms, the hotel is being built with a combination of traditional and modular techniques, allowing Robertson to reduce build time without sacrificing quality.

The group also had the chance to use construction software such as 3D scanners and surveying instruments as well as several engineering sessions at the college’s Springburn Campus.

Robertson helps Clyde Gateway pupils engineer a career in construction

Jamie Hepburn addresses the group

Gemma Gourlay, Robertson’s director of social sustainability, said: “This year’s ‘Gateway to Engineering’ programme has a real focus on impact-led engagement, providing the pupils with tangible learning outcomes to support them on the next steps of their journey and assist them with making informed decisions on future careers.

“We had a brilliant mix of pupils taking part, and it’s been fantastic to watch them gain an understanding of the different disciplines engineering offers over the ten weeks. This is the sixth time we’ve supported the programme, and the first that the group will get a tangible qualification at the end of it, boosting their CVs and their skillset. The pupils are now equipped with the right knowledge to make informed decisions about their future in engineering with some of the pupils already securing Foundation Apprenticeships and exploring university courses.”

As part of efforts to promote the construction industry and careers it has to offer, Robertson provide a variety of different activities and programmes with numerous stakeholder groups, engaging with over 29,000 young people between April 2018 and March 2019.

Natalie Phillips, Clyde Gateway’s project manager for education, business & community growth, said: “The Gateway to Engineering programme has long been one of our flagship programmes, helping young people with their education as well as improving their job prospects.

“It is an initiative that we are incredibly proud of and a great example of how we aim always to ensure local residents, whatever their age, are the focal point of our regeneration efforts.

“The programme continues to evolve, grow and develop year upon year, enabling us to play an active and important role in a range of policy areas such as the Scottish Government’s STEM Strategy.

“Gateway to Engineering is very much about making STEM skills an attractive and realistic prospect for our young people.  It raises attainment in our secondary schools and ensures the young people taking part gain certification for their learning and achievements. The awards they are taking home today can lead directly onto a Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering and that could well be the beginning of a journey into a rewarding and fulfilling career.”

Anne Porter, head of faculty of engineering, construction and science at Glasgow Kelvin College, said: “The students have done splendidly this year to carry off not only college vocational skills and crucial hands-on experience in the workplace, but solid credit-rated qualifications to spur them on in their future career.

“The importance of the Gateway to Engineering partnership approach to achieve this success can’t be overstated and Glasgow Kelvin College is delighted to be working with Clyde Gateway, Robertson, University of the West of Scotland and the schools to create opportunities which benefit the future of Scotland’s young people.”

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