Student work placements give design for life

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Architectural technology students from New College Lanarkshire have been gaining valuable insight into the industry to enhance their future prospects.

16 full-time HND Computer Aided Architectural Design and Technology (CAAD&T) students at New College Lanarkshire’s Motherwell Campus have completed week-long workplace assignments in and around Lanarkshire and Glasgow - with a variety of construction-related businesses including major companies such as Morgan Sindall, Lakesmere, Keppie Design, Ramboll, DTA, CRGP, ICA and Claremont Office Furniture.

The New College Lanarkshire CAAD&T course is the only one of its kind in a West of Scotland Further Education setting to use industry-standard software for teaching the various skills.

The group took on the work placements after the success of the pilot initiative in 2016 which saw 16 students simultaneously take on work placements – with all now in full-time employment or further education. 33% of students went directly into industry employment, 60% got direct entry into 3rd year at Edinburgh Napier University or University of Highlands and Islands.

Intense training with Autodesk Revit software throughout the course and the addition of BIM modules has allowed a successful transition for those who went directly into employment.

New College Lanarkshire Course Leader Vivien Townsley said: “These industry-based placements are vital for our students to ensure they are ready and confident to go into the workplace.

“Architectural technology is a relatively new discipline in the construction industry so work experience is important for the students to see how their skills can be put into practice in a real-life environment while giving employers an insight into the fresh talent coming into the industry.

“From our 2016 statistics, students who took on placements have continued to perform highly in careers or in further education – and I hope this continues for our 2017 cohort.”

New College Lanarkshire is one of only two Further Education colleges in Scotland to offer Computer Aided Architectural Design and Technology. 

The College has “highly acclaimed” practitioner status from Autodesk, which provides the software used by the College.  This allows students on the course to sit - free of charge - Certified User exams to prove their Autodesk skills.

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