SOUTH West College is rapidly becoming the first port of call for local employers in search of bright new recruits.
Chief Executive, Celine McCartan, was speaking following the announcement of the College’s Erne Campus in Enniskillen winning the UK Project of the Year, which was awarded by the Royal institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
The College has not only been winning plaudits for the new-look Campus but for the quality of graduates that leave to make their mark on the wider world with companies looking to get first pick on the wealth of talent.
McCartan said: “We do have companies coming to head-hunt students – even as recently as last week I had a couple of emails from employers on that subject.
“These requests can often be in niche areas but we have good links with many of the local employers and we are their first stop (for new recruits). We would have placement opportunities, apprenticeship opportunities as well as upscaling opportunities.
“One example of an employer would be the Western Trust who we work with to see how we can provide more healthcare courses and also to help address some of the problems they may have in recruiting staff. Obviously, we are not going to be going as far as the doctors and consultants staff. But at the same time, there are needs across the healthcare sector in areas such as IT (information technology), business, engineering and manufacturing.
“We’re an intermediary who provide the skills for people to acquire in order to get those jobs.”
McCartan also highlighted a number of scholarships that the College works with for those looking to funding their route into University education.
She added: “Apart from the general support that we have for students who want to return to higher education, some people haven’t necessarily had a good experience of university – especially over the last few years where there have been so many challenges with the Covid pandemic.
“We have a number of scholarships as well. I had the pleasure a few weeks ago of contacting one of our students who was the recipient of the JP McManus All-Ireland Scholarship – a sum of £5,000 per year.
“That’s one of a number of scholarships that the College actively promotes to students.”
Of the award itself, McCartan was delighted that the College won it but insisted that the achievement was one they could build on to boost their educational success.
She continued: “This award by the RICS is something that could have only been imagined when the plans for this campus building were developed.
“The commitment, dedication and hard work of everyone involved in the planning, design and construction of the Erne Campus is reflected in these awards, as is the vision of the Department for the Economy who have invested not only in a world-class building but in the futures of thousands of students in our region.
“For us now, the challenge is to bring the community in and to realise that this has been a significant investment by the Department for the Economy.
“So we want to encourage as many people as possible to come and see the building and if they wish to then enrol and become students then great. The range of courses that we have enable us to connect people to jobs. Even if you have a job right now, we are here for people to develop more skills to get a better job.
“All of that is here on your doorstep. We are having a series of public events and one of them is on November 11 where anyone can register to have a tour of the building and there will be one tour a month after that.”
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