Case studies

Engineer hails graduate scheme as life-changing opportunity

Aberdeen based Mina Hanna, 29, completed the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) graduate training scheme in 2021 helping him secure a full-time role with The PowerHouse project at The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). Now he hopes to inspire the next cohort of graduates as the NMIS Manufacturing Skills Academy opens applications for the 2021/22 scheme.

Funded by the Scottish Government’s £20m National Transition Training Fund, the NMIS graduate training scheme aims to bridge skills gaps and support those struggling to find work as a result of the economic impact of the pandemic.

This was exactly the case for Mina who struggled to secure a job in his specialised field. With a curious interest in hydrogen and wind energy, Mina completed his undergraduate degree in petroleum engineering and renewable energy sources. In 2020, he graduated from Robert Gordon University with an MSc in petroleum production engineering.

Mina initially heard of the NMIS graduate training scheme through Robert Gordon University’s careers and employability centre. Seeing this opportunity, he immediately submitted a CV for consideration, and following a successful interview, he was awarded a six-month fully paid placement with The PowerHouse project.

Upon his initial recruitment with NMIS, which is operated by the University of Strathclyde, Mina’s first month involved extensive training in a variety of areas, from communications and teamwork to leadership.

As Mina’s graduate placement was approaching its end, UHI offered him a position for one year, which was credited to Mina’s undeniable success and dedication to his role.

The NMIS graduate training scheme was truly a life-changing experience and I would encourage all manufacturing and engineering graduates to apply.

The additional training I received made me feel confident in my role and how I could contribute. The time that was given to me by so many experienced professionals and especially my former manager Joanne Alllday, was an incredible opportunity as I was able to learn first-hand from a variety of experts. It was truly an invaluable experience and I am so grateful to NMIS for allowing me to embark upon a career that I am passionate about.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the team at NMIS, Opportunity Cromarty Firth, The Port of Cromarty Firth, and UHI for their faith and continual support.

Now working with Opportunity Cromarty Firth and the University of the Highlands and Islands, Mina is the PowerHouse Project Manager, based at North Highland College UHI’s Tern House.

The PowerHouse is a new applied research centre dedicated to developing floating offshore wind and green hydrogen technologies. It aspires to become a global centre of excellence for renewable energy innovation, reinforcing the UK’s position as a world leader in floating offshore wind and green hydrogen developments at commercial scale. Mina is currently focused on researching the development and use of offshore wind energy and green hydrogen through steering groups, coordinating training, identifying funding and engaging with local communities.

Professor Gary Campbell, Vice-Principal (Strategic Developments) at the University of the Highlands and Islands said:

It is a great example of cooperation and shared values that Mina, who is now employed by the University of the Highlands and Islands, has been supported by National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and Opportunity Cromarty Firth to take this next step in developing, what we collectively hope will be a global focus for floating offshore wind and green hydrogen technologies.