06 Dec 2018
Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Glasgow has crowned a talented team of apprentices from independent car retailer Arnold Clark the winners of the 2018 Glasgow Apprenticeship Challenge.
The team faced stiff competition from fellow finalists from BAE Systems, McTaggart Construction, SP Energy Networks and STV.
Over the last five months the winning team, made up of garage equipment engineering apprentices Louis Kane and Darren McCaig, developed an interactive board to be used by teachers at Abercorn Secondary School as a resource to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
The board contains visual clues which, once found, will unlock sections of a website also designed by the apprentice team.
Developed in close conjunction with Arnold Clark’s marketing team, the website teaches students about key Scottish figures in the history of STEM, such as James Watt and Alexander Graham Bell, and provides instructions for tasks including bicycle tyre repair and making a cup-and-string telephone.
The centrepiece of the project is a bike, which the team stripped and repainted with thermochronic paint. This causes the bike to change colour when exposed to certain temperatures, so that students can see the effects of heating technology.
The bike is also connected to a watt-metre, so students’ pedalling can be converted to electricity and horsepower for measurement.
Darren McCaig commented: “I have really enjoyed being able to use the knowledge and skills I learned throughout my Engineering Apprenticeship with Arnold Clark. The challenge gave me an opportunity to learn additional skills and I am thankful to have been given the opportunity to participate. I have really enjoyed my experience.”
The challenge aimed to demonstrate the quality of apprentices employed in Glasgow, and the high level of training offered by organisations, while promoting the benefits of apprenticeships to both businesses and potential candidates.
Alison McRae, senior director at Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, which hosts DYW, said: “A huge congratulations to the apprentices from Arnold Clark, who have demonstrated the value of skills-based learning with this fantastic project.
“All the apprentices who have taken part in this year’s challenge have utilised the skills they have gained through their apprenticeships across a wide range of imaginative projects.
“This has been a fantastic example of how apprenticeships can enrich Glasgow’s diverse workforce, and are beneficial to employers, communities and young people alike.”
The winners were announced at the DYW Futures conference, held at Strathclyde Technology Innovation Centre yesterday.
The sold-out inaugural event was made up of a range of interactive workshops hosted by industry experts from companies including Skills Development Scotland, Glasgow Science Centre and Communic18 on topics including gender stereotyping, manufacturing in Scotland and strategies for maximising educational engagement.
The line-up also boasted speeches from Alice Beveridge, training director at Tree of Knowledge, and keynote speaker Gillian Docherty, chief executive of The Data Lab, who commented: “I am delighted to support the DYW Futures Event and I am passionate about creating a future for our young people in which to thrive, and help them to build the skills and talent they will need as they embark upon their own journeys.”
DYW is the Scottish Government’s national strategy for strengthening links between schools and businesses. It aims to better prepare children and young adults for the world of work, with a target aim of reducing youth unemployment by 40% by 2021.
Pictured: Leona Seaton, Programme Director, Developing the Young Workforce with apprentices Louis Kane and Darren McCaig.