Sector - Education & Training
Scotland’s industries support students and tackle skills shortage
Scotland’s leading science and technologies industries offer increased support for students, targeting sectors with skills shortages.
The Youth Employment Minister, Annabelle Ewing, today visited a college which supports students and addresses skills shortages in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors.
Dundee and Angus College has worked with major employees and designed programmes in the energy sector, including micro-renewables and oil services. The college has seen impressive results, with 100% of those studying biofuels, going onto further study, training or work.
The college provides tailored programmes to meet industry needs and introduce students to a variety of different careers in specialist industries, including the creative and digital industries.
The ICT and digital skills industries are worth around £4.5Bn annually to the economy, with more than 84,000 people employed in jobs connected to it in 2014 alone.
Ms Ewing said: “This poses incredible opportunities for students and D&A College has been among the first to use this knowledge to create better opportunities for its graduates and build links with the sector.
“If we are to meet the need for an additional 11,000 new entrants every year and keep the workforce level with the demand, we are going to need innovative approaches like the work here at D&A College. I am keen to hear about the incredible success these new programmes for the STEM sectors are having. I am also looking forward to discussing how the college is improving the gender balance in these courses and continuing to see the number of graduates coming from our most disadvantaged communities grow to almost 10 per cent above the national average.”
The Minister met Sandra Cormack and Razwana Yousaf, who have launched start-up businesses from the college’s £1.6 million Enterprise Incubator. There they have access to support, networking and facilities for the first year.
D&A College Principal Grant Ritchie said: “Staff at D&A College understand our primary task is to ensure the right skills are available to help companies in our region compete effectively and flourish. To achieve this we talk to employers about how to fill skills gaps and we make sure that programmes are adjusted accordingly.
“Skills in energy and engineering along with digital skills are critical in ensuring our young people are resourceful and independent and are prepared for the modern workplace.”
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