Scotland’s Minister for Youth Employment, Angela Constance MSP, has witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement today between Stow College and Public Services Provider Amey. The official signing took place at around 12pm at Stow College.
The memorandum has been signed by both parties entering into an agreement to continue working together in supporting young engineering students through the New College Learning Programme. By signing this agreement the partnership will continue to help ensure learners receive a level of teaching and frontline work-readiness required by employers.
The Programme, launched by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) in 2012, is aimed at 16-19 year olds and offers students a balance of real, frontline work experience alongside classroom time, which provides them with the essential skills to continue into employment.
The layout of the Programme requires students to take part in 192 hours of class based learning as well as 192 hours or work experience. This gives learners the opportunity to work alongside current Amey employees and to experience, first hand, what the real working environment will be like after college. It also offers Amey the chance to meet and monitor the development of students who may one day become full employees of the company.
Commenting on the establishment of the partnership with Amey, Stow College Principal, Dr. Robert McGrory, said: “I am delighted that Stow College and Amey have been able to work so successfully in partnership on this Programme and look forward to sustaining the working relationship for many years to come.
“Amey have been keen to be involved in many aspects of the development of this Programme and have treated our students as if they were real employees. They have given our learners a real taste of what employment will be like, including the finer details. For example, they’ve paid for full disclosure checks; put them through Health and Safety inductions as well as providing uniforms. Amey have also said they will provide employer references for all the students who complete the Programme, thereby giving them a substantial ‘leg up’ when it comes to looking for employment after college.
“Signing this agreement is recognition of both Stow College’s and Amey’s commitment to providing the best possible service to students in paving the way from education to work. We are grateful that the Minister for Youth Employment, Angela Constance MSP, has chosen to be part of today’s ceremony and are hopeful that she recognises the benefit this initiative could offer to learners all over Scotland.”
Margaret Mayer, Account Director for Amey’s Scottish schools estate said: “Amey is delighted to work in partnership with Stow College to help provide employment and training opportunities across the west ofScotland. This is an excellent opportunity for the students to gain real life work experience and achieve the necessary qualifications to potentially find employment within the engineering industry.
“Our pledge to delivering over 500 days in work experience to the 20 students on the course reinforces our belief in investing in our people. This is reflected by Amey’s achievement of Investors in People Gold status late last year and gaining Scottish Business in the Community’s Large Company of the Year Award for the second year running”.
22 year old NC Electrical student Kevin Crawford from Drumchapel was amongst the first group to take part in the SDS Programme. He said: “The course was ideal for me as my main objective for going to college was to get a qualification that would lead me into a career. The set-up of this Programme was perfect for that as it meant I would be able to gain invaluable experience of my future working environment. To be able to leave college and approach potential employers with this kind of work experience along with an employer reference is more than I could’ve expected.
“Whilst on my placement the staff at Amey were brilliant and treated me more as if I was an apprentice not like a student. The whole experience was really hands on and I was given the chance to watch, learn and then try out for myself. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
Commenting on today’s signing, Minister for Youth Employment, Angela Constance said: “This is an important step for both Stow College and its students. Amey plays a key role in the development ofScotland’s infrastructure, and I am delighted to see that supporting young people into employment is being taken seriously by one of our main public service providers.
“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting more young people into work and have guaranteed every 16-19 year old a place in learning or training through Opportunities for All. I hope that the work being done by Stow and Amey can be replicated elsewhere and more organisations start to make young people their business.”