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Bright young things

By Claire Floquet

Marketing & PR Executive, West College Scotland


West College Scotland is passionately committed to developing the young workforce and, in doing so, helping businesses meet their future staffing needs. The College’s impressive track record of engaging with the industry to maintain and develop a skilled workforce was further enhanced this year with a full success rate for its pre-apprentice Electrical Installation programme.


The programme, designed to fully prepare students to start their career as apprentice electricians, is following an innovative approach endorsed by the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust SECTT.


Collaborating with a range of partners including the Energy Skills Partnership (ESP), SECTT, the Scottish Youth Hostel Association (SYHA) and John Mather Trust, the College always strives to enhance the programme to better prepare students and meet the industry’s evolving needs. 


The programme mirrors the evolution of the industry and feedback from employers changes content. It also embeds creative teaching approaches, such as project working, STEM study camps and peer evaluation. The STEM residential camps, based at the Rowardennan Youth Hostel, provide pre-apprentices with a stimulating learning environment and opportunities to bring their STEM skills to life through very practical and engaging problem solving activities.


The College strives to give pre-apprentices a flavour of real life working environments and, to do so, integrates forums where employers, existing apprentices pre-apprentices get together to investigate the realities of working in the industry. The strong employer engagement in the design and delivery of the programme is enabled by the close collaboration between the College and SECTT Training Officer George McCann. George works closely with employers to identify their requirements, provides feedback to the College and facilitates a student selection and recruitment service.



The continuous course enrichments and the strong employer engagement make the programme tremendously successful. This term, 100% of learners recommended for interview (38) have gained a recognised apprenticeship in the electrical sector with SECTT.


Furthermore, the positive impact of West College Scotland’s pre-apprentice programme goes beyond early careers provision. The College has developed wider business relationships with employers engaged in the programme and today supports their staff development needs by providing professional training solutions.


To learn more about West College Scotland’s pre-apprentice Electrical Installation programme and the professional development opportunities the College can offer in the energy sector, contact their dedicated team at or visit 




“The ESP is delighted to endorse this project as a great example of promoting sector attractiveness in the energy and engineering industry” – John Renwick, Project Manager, ESP


“I am delighted with the positive impact the pre-apprenticeship Electrical Installation programme is having on young people, most of whom are achieving full time sustainable employment and a highly rewarding career.” – Anne Galbraith, Chief Executive at SECTT 



“I’ve been working with West College Scotland on the science component of the course. One of the significant teaching changes we made is to place a greater emphasis on practical activities that inspire students and help develop their science literacy.” – Graeme Arnott, SECTT Training Officer and STEM Camp Veteran 


“This collaborative approach with SECTT has developed over the last few years and it really dividends for the employers, pre-apprentices and the College. Numbers of employers are now consistently and exclusively using this service to recruit and also guide potential employees to complete the programme prior to gaining an apprenticeship.”– Joe Mulholland, West College Scotland Curriculum Quality Leader

PICTURE BELOW: Craig Rowe and Craig Lochart of Hugh Fulton Group

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