CAADT students build a brighter future through work placements

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Architectural technology students from New College Lanarkshire have designs on a brighter future after completing work placements at companies across the central belt of Scotland.

Twenty-four students of HNC and HND Computer Aided Architectural Design and Technology (CAADT) at our Motherwell Campus completed week-long stints at architectural and design offices.

These ranged from large architectural practices such as Keppie Design, Cooper Cromar, MAST Architects, Sheppard Robson, Mosaic, Collective, and Space & Place; to smaller firms including A10 Architects, GD Lodge, ICA, Block Architects and 3DReid.

Depending on their area of interest, some students completed work experience with engineering or construction-related firms like BarkerHicks, Ramboll, Laing O’Rourke, MT Cladding and Wilson Developments, or with interior design companies, such as Claremont Office Furniture and Alpha Scotland.

HND student Deborah Campbell completed her work placement with Glasgow-based architects Cooper Cromar.

The mum-of-three returned to full-time education last year after working as a kitchen designer for a large retailer.

She said: “My placement was fantastic – I think it was the first time that they’d had a HND student for a work placement, and I got to work on one of their live projects.

“They do a lot of hotels and office blocks as well as residential projects. I got to go to a design meeting and it was good to see how everyone works together in a team.”

This is the fourth year that students from the CAADT courses have gained this valuable industry insight, which also gives employers a chance to meet exciting new talent.

Architectural Technology and CADD lecturer Vivien Townsley said: “Many of the companies have supported the programme and the course over the years and, through doing so, have built a great rapport with NCL resulting in many students gaining part-time employment at this stage of the course with a view to full-time employment in June when they complete the course.

“Working closely with industry allows the students a proper insight into the job they are training to do, where they get the opportunity to work with a mentor, produce working drawings for live projects, participate in site visits and surveys and, just as importantly, network.

“Gaining this insight definitely puts the students in an advantageous position, allowing them to make informed choices about the industry in which they wish to work.

“The success of the work experience is thanks to the contacts we have gained in industry over the years, their hard work and commitment to the course, and not to mention the former students currently working in industry who helped make these connections.”

Lecturing staff from the Motherwell Campus worked with the support of industry partners to write and develop the course material for Architectural Technology, which is now offered by only a handful of further education institutions in Scotland.

CAADT students receive intense training on software packages used in industry, including Autodesk Revit and Building Information Modelling (BIM).

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