Scholarship launched for new generation of engineers

A scholarship has been launched in the isles to encourage the next generation of engineers to take up a career in industry.

Eight electrical and eight mechanical maintenance technicians will make up the first cohort starting the scholarship at the University of the Highlands and Islands in September.

The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board programme will give them a grounding in core engineering knowledge and skills as well as an understanding of new technologies, and a foundation in digital skills.

It has been created to address workforce shortages in key engineering construction roles.

Those on the programme get a £100-week grant to develop their engineering knowledge and skills and achieve industry-standard qualifications.

Daniel Gear, ECITB board member and general manager for Peterson Shetland Ltd, welcomed the launch of the new scholarship and said employers in the isles were already taking an interest.

He said: “The timing of this scholarship programme couldn’t be better for industry as the renewables, marine, oil and gas, and space sectors in Shetland face a booming pipeline of projects over the coming years.

“As a result there is ever-growing demand for the type of skills that this programme will deliver, which is unsurprisingly piquing the interest of local employers across these key sectors.

“By meeting the cost of the first two years of training through the scholarship programme, there will be a lower financial burden for employers who subsequently take on the technician scholars.”

Sophie Anderson, ECITB account manager in Scotland, said: “This is a very exciting development to support industry locally where a number of important energy projects are either underway or planned in the area.

“Growing skills shortages and the need to find and retain engineers are the most pressing challenges facing the engineering construction industry both in Shetland and across Scotland.

“We have worked closely with employers in both the oil and gas and renewables sectors to ensure the programme develops the skills which are in demand in Shetland.”

Jane Lewis, principal of UHI Shetland said: “Supporting Shetland and local energy and renewable projects with training and skills is of great importance to us.”


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