Trade support for Midlothian students

BESA (Building Engineering Services Association) members donatie equipment to Edinburgh College's Midlothian Campus
BESA (Building Engineering Services Association) members donatie equipment to Edinburgh College's Midlothian Campus

BESA (Building Engineering Services Association) members, Vaughan Engineering Group Ltd and SCAN Building Services Ltd have donated new equipment, including piping and fittings, to the Midlothian Campus at Edinburgh College.

Colleges across the UK are constantly recycling and re-using equipment that is two to three years old, which quickly becomes worn and tired.

Vaughan Engineering Group Ltd and SCAN Building Services Ltd’s gift has been a boon for both Edinburgh College and BESA H&V apprentices, giving them the right equipment to get the best from their practical training.

Paul Gilbertson, heating and ventilation lecturer at Edinburgh College, said: “A huge thank you to BESA, Vaughan Engineering Ltd and SCAN Building services for this generous donation. Getting to use the latest industry-standard equipment is really important for the apprentices’ learning so their skills are exactly what their employers and the industry in general needs. We work closely with BESA and our industry partners to make sure apprentices get the best training possible.”

A tour of the heating and ventilation department took place after the presentation. The tour was attended by Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian and Musselburgh and a member of the education and skills committee, as well as BESA staff and apprentices.

“There have been some positive changes since my last visit,” said Colin Beattie, “It’s great to see how engaged the apprentices are and I think this has a lot to do with the teaching style and interaction in the workshops so without the latest equipment this wouldn’t be possible.”

Donations from members of organisations like BESA are being called on more often, due to financial constraints. The travel allowance for Scottish apprentices has been cut, which means BESA employers are having to pay for apprentices’ travel and accommodation.

“BESA apprentices from northern Scotland such as the Shetlands, Highlands, Inverness and Aberdeen have no choice but to travel to either Edinburgh or Glasgow to study an apprenticeship in building services,” explained Iain McCaskey, head of BESA Scotland.

“Apprentices are spending a full day in college, then have to travel two to three hours to get home, where they spend an extra hour working on their portfolio so it makes more sense for them to stay near college during the week.”

Mr McCaskey explained the BESA had already met with Skills Development Scotland to voice its concerns. Mr Beattie said he would raise the issue in Parliament and to the education skills committee.

For more information about apprenticeships and training visit www.theBESA.com/training