An inspirational space project, a campaign to get more girls into engineering and a scheme to help unemployed technicians into work has won a Scottish college a prestigious engineering award.
Ayrshire College beat off strong competition to be named Training Partner of the Year, sponsored by EAL, at the Enginuity Skills Awards 2017 gala dinner in London’s Hilton Hotel on Park Lane hosted by BBC presenter Alexander Armstrong.
Stuart Miller, Director of Education Contracts and Business Development at Ayrshire College said: "It is fantastic for the college to win this award, it shows how much we are dedicated to manufacturing and engineering in Ayrshire.
"We work really hard to partner with industry – we want to see local people get local jobs and our industry partners support us in doing that."
Ayrshire College delivers the aeronautical engineering apprenticeship programme to the region’s aerospace industry. The college took an innovative approach to engaging young people by delivering the International Space School Educational Trust's Mission Discovery programme.
This brought 200 school pupils and college students to the college, where they worked in mixed groups to design a space experiment with the help of NASA experts - including former NASA astronaut Michael Foale, CBE. The winning group's experiment will be tested at the International Space Station in 2017.
And the #ThisAyrshireGirlCan campaign has had great success in advancing equality and promoting apprenticeships to females. The campaign, which includes videos, blogs, case studies, events and a mentoring support network for female STEM students, recently won an award.
Ayrshire College also designed a course alongside Ryanair that took unemployed engineers and re-trained them for sheet metal work. 20 students have been employed following the course with a further seven recruited from the most recent course in November 2016.
Sonia Rafferty, HR officer at Glasgow Prestwick Airport, said: “Ayrshire College go above and beyond. They do everything that you ask, creating bespoke programmes to make sure they are working with industry to meet business needs.”
Ann Watson, CEO of Enginuity , the not-for-profit organisation tasked with skilling engineering and manufacturing in the UK said: “Ayrshire College is a very deserving winner of the Enginuity Skills Award. It plays a major role in the aerospace industry in Scotland, working with employers on a wide-range of initiatives, supporting apprenticeships, job creation, upskilling and promoting diversity in engineering.”
Runners up were: Skills Training UK and Warwickshire College Group - Trident Centre
Find out more about the winners and finalists.