Innovative Scholarship for Glasgow’s Future Engineers
The project: In collaboration with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), the Glasgow School College Business Partnership delivers an innovative scholarship programme in Electrical Engineering, providing young people with a unique pathway into a range of careers. The one-year NC Electrical Engineering Scholarship combines academic study in schools and colleges with work experience placements, resulting in the SQA’s National Certificate in Electrical Engineering. The current scholarship features sixteen pupils, S5 and S6, drawn from secondary schools in north east Glasgow.
The challenge: As Dr Janet Brown (SQA Chief Executive) says, the SQA National Certificate “is of particular benefit when considering the recommendations of the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce, which wants to make stronger connections between the skills and knowledge young people have and the competencies employers require, giving young people practical experience of the workplace and building lasting relationships between schools and employers.”
The purpose: The scholarship is structured to help candidates in full-time education prepare for employment, career development and progression to further education. A typical week will involve students spending 2 days at school for study, spending 2 days in college pursuing engineering-specific qualifications and, fundamentally, spending 1 full day on work placements. The scholarship and certificate offer participants a platform to progress onto a variety of vocational pathways, including Modern Apprenticeships and further education.
The people and partners: The SQA works in collaboration with the Glasgow School College Business Partnership, which is made up of Glasgow City Council’s Education Services, Glasgow Kelvin College and number a of Glasgow secondary schools. Business partners, including Network Rail, Amey, Scottish Power, SSE and Scottish Water, have contributed to the scholarship with workplace sessions and site visits.
The outcomes (or proposed outcomes, if ongoing project): Students are provided with the necessary skills to progress onto careers, apprenticeships and degrees. According to Carlyn McNab (Head of Science & Engineering at Glasgow Kelvin College), the programme has proven hugely successful with “all the students progressing to positive destinations including Modern Apprenticeships and places on HND courses.”
The impact (or proposed impact, if ongoing project): “The NC Electrical Engineering Scholarship is a fully rounded vocational programme,” enthuses Gerry McCarron (Account Manager at Amey), “The collaboration between the council, schools, college and employers gives the pupils all the tools required to enter the workplace or go on to higher education in their chosen career. That’s been demonstrated by ninety percent of last year’s intake going on to further education or finding positions as Modern Apprentices.” SQA has produced a short film that demonstrates the benefits of partnership working to deliver this innovative programme.
This case study was published in July 2015