Case Study – Equality
When Greenock schoolgirl Hannah Blue was given the chance to study at West College Scotland’s Greenock Campus she jumped at it. Hannah studied IMI Car Body Repair Level 1 ( SCQF level 4) turning her interest in cars into valuable skills, before even leaving high school, and it’s already paying off.
“My school, Notre Dame High, have an agreement with West College Scotland where 5 th and 6 th years can study a course at the college alongside their school subjects. The courses on offer were very different, and it meant while still at school I could do something I really enjoy, that could lead straight to a career.
I love cars, and was really interested in learning how to work with them, so I took the course in Car Body Repair. It gave me a chance to learn the basics, and see if it was what I really wanted to do, and it meant when leaving school I knew where I wanted to be.
As part of West College Scotland’s work to improve young people’s employability, senior pupils can study college courses while still at school. The college has a strong partnership with schools across Inverclyde and other local authority areas, and is continuing to develop and improve what’s on offer.
One benefit is that pupils have a chance to study for vocational qualifications not normally available in school. Pupils can gain practical experience in a new subject, see if it’s for them, and be in a great position to make their choices for leaving school.
“I didn’t know what to expect; though I seriously love cars, I’d never worked with them. I went in with an open mind though, and I was keen to show a girl can do this job just as well anyone else. The college was great. Even though I was studying at a higher level, it was more relaxed than at school. It was a great place to make new friends too. I thought being the only girl would be awkward, but I was made to feel welcome and we all got on really well. I think they liked having a girl about the place!”
Hannah settled in very well to her course, and lecturer Ryan Horn was more than pleased with her work.
“Hannah showed great talent and initiative throughout her studies here, working hard to build her knowledge and develop her skills. As the only girl it could have been difficult for her, but this wasn’t an issue for Hannah, or the rest of the class. It’s a male-dominated profession so it’s fantastic to see a young girl like Hannah show such enthusiasm and skill.
“I haven’t wasted anytime; I’m now employed as a Motor Vehicle Refinisher on a 3-year Modern Apprenticeship with Arnold Clark. It’s going well so far, the course at college was a good taste of what to expect, and prepared me well.”