Doubts Over Siemens Training Program Erased

Massive German engineering conglomerate Siemens has dismissed claims its £1.5 million training facility in Scotland will be abandoned, vowing to continue to offer apprenticeships in spite of the Scottish Funding Council’s lack of support.

The Whitlock Energy Collaboration Centre in Rosyth offers apprentices a 4 year training course for a future in energy industries, taking them through college and university with training programs at windmill locations around Scotland. Though the course has proved popular and successful, the SNP government was reluctant and unhelpful in regards to funding it. This year’s course funding was provided by Fife Council, who have, according to Siemens, stated they would likely provide funding for next year’s course if the Scottish Funding Council to not step in.

When I telephoned Siemens I was told recently appointed leader of the centre Jim Brown was unable for an interview, but gave a quick comment; “The course at present is highly selective of who we can bring in, limited funding allows limited places. We aim to improve funds to allow our unique apprenticeship to be granted to more applicants. With the support we now have from Tavish Scott on the issue, I feel this can happen.”

Tavis Scott is the Liberal Democrat leader for the UK, one of Scotland’s most prominent parties, so Siemens have a good chance of this issue gaining more public awareness.

I asked first year apprentice Lewis Hamilton for more on the course Siemens offer.

“Basically there’s 1-2 years in college, and the rest in a university course, probably in Strathclyde or Herriot Watt. There’s training at windfarms and a few five week courses in Newcastle, Siemens definitely offer a broad range of experience, a good salary and plenty career opportunities local and abroad after. I could be working anywhere from Aberdeen to Germany with them after 4 years.”

The apprentices are clearly given great opportunities for a career by Siemens, so it would be a great shame for future generations to miss out on the experience due to a lack of government funds.

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