Business to College Award success

College Principal Paul Sherrington, Kenny Burnett and James J. Gray from Gray and Adams with apprentices Scott Bonnar and Kristofer Wiseman
College Principal Paul Sherrington, Kenny Burnett and James J. Gray from Gray and Adams with apprentices Scott Bonnar and Kristofer Wiseman

BANFF and Buchan College and Gray and Adams were delighted with their success in the prestigious Scotland’s Colleges’ Business to College Awards 2011.

Designed to recognise and celebrate excellent success stories taking place between colleges and the business community in Scotland, the awards are highly prized with colleges from across the country attending the glittering ceremony.

The partnership was highly commended in the ‘Workforce Development’ category. Although operating across the UK and Ireland, Gray and Adams have stayed supportive to their Fraserburgh roots and through a partnership agreement with the College the company have access to a ‘home grown’ pool of talent from the College’s technology department.

Gray and Adams has worked with the college to develop a Modern Apprenticeship (MA) offering which incorporates four strands – electrical, manufacture, maintenance and welding with the first group of Apprenticeships beginning in August 2010. A further group of apprenticeships will start in August 2011.

College technology curriculum leader Steven Wilson, who was involved in the negotiations to set up the scheme said: “It is fantastic that the Business to College Awards have recognised our partnership. The bespoke MA Programme enables students to gain a qualification whilst gaining practical skills and experience to help them to progress in a career with Gray and Adams.

“The partnership has been mutually beneficial for both parties. Through the relationship the college has also been able to support the company in other areas of skills development including health and safety for supervisory and middle management. In return, Gray and Adams has supported the college by providing essential pieces of training equipment and materials to enhance the experience of other engineering students.”

James J. Gray added: “We have had apprentices at Gray and Adams for many years and have always found them to be successful; in fact we have apprentices here who have gone on to get permanent jobs with the company and stay here for up to 40 years!

“This new agreement with Banff and Buchan College helps us to create a bespoke apprenticeship programme aligned to the needs of our business and also take advantage of ‘home grown’ talent, which is very important to us.”