Steering pupils in the right direction at the Falkirk Wheel

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Pupils from primary schools across the district were encouraged to find out more about a career in engineering.

The youngsters took part in Forth Valley College’s Engineering Experience on Monday where they also met Education Secretary Angela Constance.

The Minister was visiting as part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2015 and saw how the college worked to inspire the schoolchildren on the various pathways into the engineering sector.

Pupils from Airth, Carmuirs, Comely Park, Hallglen, Kinneil, Stenhousemuir and Wallacestone Primaries were at the Falkirk Wheel to meet the Minister and find out about how to become a Modern Apprentice.

They were also treated to a boat trip on the Wheel as well as lunch, before visiting the Grangemouth petro-chemical complex and toured the college’s £1.2 million engineering workshop and facilities at the Falkirk campus.

Ms Constance said: “The opportunities for people with engineering skills are incredible and varied. Without the expertise of people designing, building and maintaining machinery, equipment and infrastructure, our society and economy would simply cease to function.

“Standing in the shadow of an incredible engineering achievement like the Falkirk Wheel it is easy to be inspired, to think about whether engineering is something that you have an interest in or the skills to succeed in.”

College principal Dr Ken Thomson said: “As one of the biggest trainers of Modern Apprentices in Scotland, Scottish Apprenticeship Week is a very important event in the academic calendar for Forth Valley College. We are very proud of the range and quality of MAs we train from day-to-day and are always looking to encourage even more businesses to consider the benefits of taking on more apprentices.”