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Colleges of success

Published: 23 May 2016 11:20

Forth Valley College students prepare for leading industries.

Education Secretary John Swinney met with students and staff to hear how Forth Valley College is preparing the next generation of specialists for Scotland's leading science technology sectors.

Mr Swinney joined the engineering and life sciences students at the college's Falkirk campus who will help meet the growing demand from Scotland's employers for skilled workers.

Scotland's Colleges have gone through reforms in recent years, with over £550 million invested in college estates since 2007 , and a greater focus on courses that boost students' employability. The Cabinet Secretary is keen to make sure that he gets to hear the views of those directly involved in the delivery of this vital part of Scotland's education system.

Speaking after his visit, Mr Swinney said:

"Colleges are vital to Scotland's success and the number of full-time students has grown as we have exceeded our commitment to maintain student places.

"By placing more emphasis on full-time courses that lead to employment, colleges are improving the life chances for all students, generating a well-trained, highly-skilled workforce to deliver economic growth.

"As a government we are committed to making Scotland's colleges accessible places of useful learning. Today's visit to Forth Valley College has highlighted to me the fantastic work that is going on in our colleges to deliver a modern and dynamic education, which is producing highly-skilled students, who will no doubt go on to be very successful either in further studies or in employment."

Forth Valley College Principal Dr Ken Thomson, said:

"It was a pleasure to welcome the new Cabinet Secretary to our Falkirk Campus and an honour that we are the venue for one of his first official visits in his new role. This visit is also a great endorsement of our excellent recent Education Scotland report where we scored top marks in many areas and the Cabinet Secretary congratulated us on the work we are doing.

"He took the time to speak at length to some of our Modern Apprentices, our science students and Stuart Leith from the SCOTS programme, I am sure the Cabinet Secretary left with an even greater understanding of our commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects at our Falkirk campus and how our Making Learning Work ethos is helping to transform the lives of people progressing through further education and on to successful employment and careers."