Virtual College Expo is Scotland’s landmark event for everyone working, studying or involved in post-16 education and training. The event which was held last week highlighted a key theme, which was to recognise the adjustments throughout the pandemic and how we have embraced this for positive change, to enhance college learning. The A.C. Whyte Skills Academy in partnership with South Lanarkshire College was a perfect example to show that despite the current COVID-19 restrictions, both A.C. Whyte and South Lanarkshire College were able to demonstrate the results of effective, collaborative partnership working and planning. This meant the course was able to start, beginning with online tutorials earlier in March this year.
The students or Akademos as they are known were invited to contribute to the online event by delivering a session on Trowel Occupations. This showcased the students’ skills and work to date through the application of external wall insulation. The Akademos are now over half way through the course and have been visiting our sites the past few weeks, where they have been training alongside some of our most qualified, experienced installers.
Throughout my time on site with the A.C. Whyte team, I was made to feel welcome from start to finish. I was spoken to with respect from day one and left with invaluable knowledge and tips, which I will be able to apply to my skill set as I continue to work towards my end goal of starting a full -time career as an A.C. Whyte Installer. – Rennie Beswick, Akademo
On completion of the 20-week programme, all students who successfully complete their training successfully will be offered a guaranteed job with A.C. Whyte. Jennifer Phin, Managing Director of A.C. Whyte went on to say:
South Lanarkshire College are an innovative, forward thinking partner. Together our aim is to deliver local training, local jobs, with a view to delivering local decarbonisation and housing strategy requirements in partnership with our clients. Creating the 20-minute neighbourhood establishes multiple benefits for the community. Local residents are upskilled, quality permanent jobs are created with fair work for everyone, local communities are empowered, and we achieve a just transition to Net Zero, all whilst achieving inclusive sustainable economic growth.
South Lanarkshire College, Interim Associate Principal, David McLaren said:
We were delighted to be involved with College Expo 2021, at South Lanarkshire College, we pride ourselves on being responsive to industry needs and we’re delighted we can share our knowledge and experience with our colleagues across the sector. Our collaborative programme with A.C. Whyte emerged as we were answering industry demands and meeting key Government low carbon objectives. The project was based on a number of key factors including: the growing importance of the PAS 20-35 framework document, our partners winning significant council housing retrofit contracts; Brexit affecting the availability of a trained experienced workforce; the national zero carbon agenda and the development of the College curriculum to meet the needs of the green economy.