A close partnering relationship with Dounreay helped the North Highland College UHI to scoop first prize in the Partnership category of the prestigious Scotland’s Colleges Annual Awards.
The College’s Principal, Rosemary Thompson collected the award on Tuesday November 24 at a ceremony held in Glasgow’s Hilton Hotel.
STV news anchorman John MacKay presented the awards which attracted a record 100 entries from 38 colleges.
The judges were impressed with the close links the College had established with industry through the Engineering Sponsorship Programme, run in conjunction with Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL).
Established in 2006, the project encourages individuals with an interest in engineering to apply for a full time place to study HNC/HND Engineering Systems or BSc Mechanical / Electrical & Electronic Engineering at the College supplemented by relevant work experience undertaken at the Dounreay site.
After a one year full time course of advanced study at College, graduates may either be employed by DSRL in a relevant role or continue to be sponsored to further their studies at College.
As the College is a Quality Assured Provider of the National Skills Academy for Nuclear, the students were also able to apply for a bursary from the Skills Academy.
Five new people were recruited onto the sponsorship scheme this year, joining the four students continuing their studies from last year. The scheme gives financial assistance towards living expenses and study resources, as well as regular work experience, and has been successful in drawing local students into engineering to help counteract future skills shortages.
Engineering Course Leader at NHC, John Douglas commented: “This is a great opportunity for local people who are interested in a career in engineering to continue full time studies locally as well as having the chance of gaining mentored work experience.
“My thanks go to all those lecturing staff involved in the delivery of the engineering programmes at NHC as well as to all the DSRL staff involved in the organising and mentoring of the sponsored graduate programme for their assistance in winning this prestigious award.”
DSRL’s Ros Campbell administers and coordinates the project for Dounreay.
“I am delighted at how successful the scheme has proven to be, not only for young people embarking on their careers, but for more mature students re-entering education,” she said.
“The experience and support candidates have gained on the Dounreay site has been invaluable and has encouraged them in their achievements. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the North Highland College and appreciate the assistance given by DSRL engineers and College lecturers.”
Pictured from left are: Jillian Bundy (Training Manager, DSRL); John Douglas (Engineering Course Leader, NHC), Ros Campbell (Engineering Sponsorship Coordinator, DSRL), Alan Ogg (Section Leader, Engineering Skills & Technology, NHD) and Rosemary Thompson (Principal, NHC).