Teenage apprentices use their skills to create new training facility at Forth Valley College

A new renewable and energy efficiency training centre has been created at Forth Valley College’s Falkirk campus by modern apprentices who are “learning on the job”.

By James Trimble
Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 2:09 pm

One of the apprentices, Bryce William O’Neil (19) from Bo’ness, has been heavily involved installing the solar thermal and photovoltaic equipment, as well as air and ground source heat pumps, at the Falkirk Campus, after FVC secured a £500,000 fund created by Scottish Power Energy Networks’ Green Economy Fund to pay for the facilty.

The apprentice said: “It has been brilliant to work on this project and I have really enjoyed it. I have installed all of this equipment, so I should know how it all works when I come back to class and continue my training next year in third year.

"It is going to be weird in class if I make any mistakes and I am sure lecturers and class mates will really let me know about it. It has been a great job to work on as everything is well spaced it and it is very clean.

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Modern apprentice Bryce William O'Neill helped create the new renewables training centre at FVC

"This is going to be an excellent facility for plumbing and heating engineers to train in and I would totally encourage it as this is the way forward for the industry.

“I am really looking forward to going into the third year of my MA – this is going to be the big one for me – and I can’t wait. I would recommend it to anyone.”

FVC’s Estates Manager Marc McCusker called in experts Renewable Micro Solutions (RMS) to manage the specialised installation

The project’s director Gregor Ford, said: “I think this is a fantastic renewables training facility and will be one of the best to be found across the Scottish College sector.

"Our sub-contractors Dawson Bespoke Joinery and Renewable Heat and their Modern Apprentices, as well as Firth Electrical who installed the electrical infrastructure of the project to provide power and controls to the units, have done a great job and have created a great teaching asset for Forth Valley College

The development of this project has also cemented key industry partnerships for the colleges, positioning them at the forefront of training for the future renewables and

energy efficiency workforce in Scotland.