National Manufacturing Institute Scotland

Fifty fully paid work placements made available for STEM graduates in Scotland

The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) has established fifty fully-paid work placements within manufacturing and technology businesses across the country with the launch of the second round of its Manufacturing Skills Academy’s graduate training programme. These placements provide opportunities for graduates to build in-demand skills and experience in the worlds of digital and advanced manufacturing.

Each up to six months in duration, the placements are aimed at recent University and college graduates of a STEM related subject who are unemployed or struggling to find meaningful work due to the impact of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based within new and emerging markets such as green energy, space and renewables, placements are being offered within innovative companies across Scotland. For example, successful applicants could find themselves working for Dundee based medical device manufacturer, Vascular Flow Technologies, high-precision component manufacturer Walker Precision Engineering in Glasgow, or Scotmas, a water treatment provider located in the Scottish borders to name but a few.

This new round of graduate training follows on from the success of the pilot programme launched in early 2021. The programme saw thirty graduates recruited and placed with companies across Scotland and the NMIS Group giving valuable on-the-job work experience. A number of graduates have now gone on to secure extended contracts or full-time employment.

Funded by the Scottish Government’s £20 million National Transition Training Fund (NTTF), the programme has been developed by the NMIS Manufacturing Skills Academy and is one of a number of initiatives designed to support Scotland’s economic recovery and the transition to net-zero.

Minister for Youth Employment and Training Jamie Hepburn said:

The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland’s Manufacturing Skills Academy is delivering excellent work-based training to help graduates move permanently into high quality jobs in manufacturing.

“Building on the success of last year’s National Transition Training Fund pilot, this is an important opportunity for STEM graduates to access high quality training opportunities right across Scotland.

Stewart McKinlay, Skills Director at the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland’s Manufacturing Skills Academy said:

We’re delighted we’ve received further support to provide an opportunity to fifty more graduates, now including those from colleges as well as Universities.

“The support from the Scottish Funding Council for the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland’s pilot graduate training programme last year allowed us to place 30 graduates within thriving businesses across the country and the specialist technology centres at NMIS.  It was a real success, with a significant number of the employers making permanent job offers to the graduates and other graduates going on to receive multiple offers from other companies based on the strength of their work experience. The aim is to replicate, and improve on this further, in 2022.

The graduate training programme is now open for applications. Candidates are asked to submit an application form and short video before being matched to potential opportunities with an industry partner.

Speaking about his experience from the 2021 graduate training programme, Mina Hanna, who has now secured a further contract with Opportunity Cromarty Firth and the University of the Highlands and Islands said:

The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland’s graduate training scheme was truly a life changing experience, and I would encourage all manufacturing and engineering graduates to apply. The time that was given to me by so many experienced professionals was an incredible opportunity and I am so grateful to NMIS Manufacturing Skills Academy for allowing me to embark upon a career that I am passionate about.

NMIS, which is operated by the University of Strathclyde, is also encouraging expressions of interest from companies across Scotland that are interested in being part of the programme and placing a recent graduate.

Renewable Parts placed three graduates within its company last year, Michael Forbes, General Manager of Refurbishment Engineering at Renewable Parts, said:

We were delighted to work with the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland on the graduate training scheme, and with the high standard of applications. The business is growing, and the scheme allowed us to recruit for positions where otherwise we may have held off until a little later.”

"The placement was almost like a 6-month interview, allowing us to see how the graduates integrated with the existing workforce.

The applications process for the NMIS Manufacturing Skills Academy graduate training programme closes in early February. An NMIS Insights online event is also taking place in the coming weeks offering an opportunity to find out more about the programme and hear from previous graduates and companies as they share their experiences. Details will shortly be available on the event section of the NMIS website.

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