Jamie Hepburn, MSP, Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training was in Hawick recently, to hear from Borders business owners and students who are benefitting from the training and development services provided by Borders College in renewable technologies and sustainable construction.
The Minister also learned about the Advancing Innovation and Manufacturing (AIMS) project, where progressive technology can be accessed by organisations, enabling them to take a production or manufacturing improvement idea from concept to implementation. Supported by Borders College team, improvements to practice, process, and productivity, within any business can be achieved.
Angela Cox, Principal of Borders College said:
“Working in collaboration with local businesses is key for us, gaining an insight into their business development aims, and developing our offering to meet this need. The work we’ve undertaken since the launch of the STEM Renewable technologies Hub and investment in advanced manufacturing technologies, are instrumental in ensuring the future skills need is met.”
Businesses from across the sectors can make the most of the technology and expertise available at the College. A recent example is the work with Eyemouth Marine who developed a prototype for marine equipment that will future proof the craft of boat building. St Boswells based joiners, George Oliver, were first introduced to thermal imaging technology at a College event, and now use the technology to carry out retrofit work that will improve a building’s carbon footprint.
Commenting on the impact of the technology on his business, Douglas Oliver, a sixth-generation owner of George Oliver Joiners, said:
“I attended an open session at Borders College when the team demonstrated the thermal imaging camera and how it could be used by our business. It was obvious from this first session that the use of technology was the way to go, this, and the on-going training of two of our Modern Apprentices, has made a significant difference to how we do business.
Mr Hepburn commented:
“The Hawick STEM centre plays a vital role in learning around new and emerging technologies in the construction and renewables industries – this will be crucial in growing Scotland’s economy.”