The life of an Engineering Foundation Apprentice at New College Lanarkshire

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New College Lanarkshire offers six Foundation Apprenticeship (FA) programmes in Creative and Digital Media, Engineering, IT, Science and Social Services, designed to help young people gain valuable, real world experience and access work-based learning while still at school.

The College currently has insert number of school pupils enrolled on the Engineering Foundation Apprenticeship, attending the Motherwell Campus one day a week, alongside their school studies.

Working on a range of projects designed to help them achieve their apprenticeship while still at school, this blog will follow the 2017/18 cohort of Foundation Apprentices.

For more information about our Foundation Apprenticeship programmes, click here

Making good progress

The FAs are currently working on a drone project which engages the apprentices in design, electrical/electronic engineering and mechanical engineering. 

The project allows the integration of practical with theory, making the development of skills more enjoyable and challenging. 

Over the first 12 weeks the apprentices were given the opportunity to develop fundamental computer aided design skills, making use of industry leading 3D design software from Autodesk and using Ultimaker 3D printers to produce the initial drone concept prototype.  The group are now on the electronic design phase of the project, developing practical skills in electronic assembly and applying the theory to a real system.

As the course has progressed the staff identified an opportunity to use the skills being developed to introduce a fun and engaging STEM challenge and have signed up for the Airgineers STEM Challenge which requires the apprentices to design, build and learn to fly their own radio controlled quadcopter, often referred to as a drone.  There will be an end of session competition aiming to find the best team.

The project recently gained attention from the Daily Record, which can be found here.

Employer engagement

The Foundation Apprenticeship programme is linked directly to industry, with many industrial partners participating in supporting placement opportunities, industry visits, talks and challenges. 

Clansman Dynamics and Castle Precision are two of the industry partners who have delivered talks to the group, providing an overview of industry, the work in which each company are engaged and the type of opportunities that could be available in the future for the apprentices. The FAs have also visited these companies during Easter, as well as visiting Honeywell and IODS Pipe Clad. The visits provided the apprentices the opportunity to engage with industry, see a variety of industrial environments and talk with a range of engineers from various disciplines.

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