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Students make contribution to gaelic playgroup

15th June 2015

Photograph of Students make contribution to gaelic playgroup

Students on the Employment Programme into Construction (EPIC) course at North Highland College UHI have recently designed, built and installed a shed for the Gaelic playgroup based at Mount Pleasant School.

As part of their enterprise unit ‘identifying a need in the community' the students reached out to numerous organisations for a project that they could help with and following discussions with the playgroup, the students collectively decided this would be a great project to work on.

Donald MacBeath, Principal of North Highland College UHI said: "I am pleased to see our first group of EPIC students making such an impact in the local community. They have produced a fantastic facility which I’m sure will be put to good use by the youngsters at the Playgroup. College staff have done a great job in ensuring that the students took full advantage of the opportunity to learn a wide range of planning, practical and people skills through their involvement in the project".

Delighted with the final product, Julie from the Gaelic playgroup said: "We are delighted with the way the project went, the lads contacted us to see what we wanted and they were able to make some really good suggestions. On the day that the shed arrived the children were really excited and once they saw it their faces said it all really. We are able to store all our outdoor toys and equipment in the shed and it also doubles up as a playhouse for the children. With its bright colours it has really enhanced our outdoor play area. We really appreciate the hard work that has gone into this project"

The children at the Gaelic playgroup screamed ‘tapadh leibh’ (thank you) to the construction students as their new blue shed was unveiled to them.

Programme leader for the EPIC course Alistair Simpson said: “I am absolutely delighted with the effort the lads put into this project. They took control from design, to procurement through to the actual build. They also liaised between themselves, the suppliers and the playgroup. We would like to thank RGI Construction who gave up a day of their time to instruct the students on how to lay the concrete foundation. I think the students have gained valuable experience and knowledge, employability skills and a boost to their confidence that will hold them in good stead in the future.”

As part of the course the students also embarked on a six week placement with construction employers in the area. Six of the ten students that went out on placement have now consequently secured full time employment in the construction industry.

The new EPIC course is City and Guilds level 1, SCQF level 5 and has been designed as a direct result of industry demand with the backing of local construction companies. Students get essential workshop practice, hand tool safety training and upon completion are fully equipped to gain employment within the construction industry. Students also receive a full tradesman quality toolkit at the start of the course which can be kept upon successful completion.

Students on the Access to Construction and Engineering course have also completed a community project this year with local museum in Thurso, Caithness Horizons. The students designed and developed a 1950s inspired atomic bar and old school TV for their Atomic Tea Dance.

There are still a number limited of places left on both the Access and EPIC courses. More information can be found on the North Highland College UHI website or from admissions on 01847 889250.