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North-east college students receive study boost from motoring trust

Automotive student Lewis Smith.
Automotive student Lewis Smith.

A donation from a charitable trust has provided a group of automotive students at North East Scotland College (Nescol) with equipment and overalls as they continue their studies this year.

Trustees from the Grampian Motor Training Trust (GMTT) met with the students and staff on the course to see them in action in the automotive workshop and to enjoy a tour of the college facilities.

GMTT has provided funding for a range of training and development opportunities across all disciplines within the motoring industry for over 45 years.

Course students received a donation of work overalls from Grampian Motor Training Trust.

Intended to keep skills relevant and up-to-date as technology advances, GMTT works with accredited training providers such as colleges, along with industry partners such as the Scottish Motor Trade Association, Bosch, Mercedes-Benz and Thatcham.

The trustees included Colin McAllister, Ian Grant, John Chessor, Graham Clark and Mike Smith. They met with course staff Kevin Bruce, Bobby Davidson and Paul Balfour, and Nescol vice principal Robin McGregor, who were on hand to see how the students were progressing.

From left: staff Darren Robertson and Paul Balfour, Jay Greig, Graham Clark, Jack Adam, Andrew Stevenson, Konan Paterson, Owen McKenzie, Charley Hart, Aiden Quinn, Colin McAllister and Mike Smith.

Trustee Colin McAllister said: “The trust supports the development and upskilling of the motoring industry in the Grampian region, and we have partnered with Nescol in the past to deliver equipment to help make this happen.

“It’s great to see the students receiving the benefit of that support, and GMTT is proud to help the next generation of mechanics and technicians on their way to a career in the motoring industry.”

The trust sponsored PPE for students at Altens and over 80 overalls across Nescol. Students who apply for the course are as young as 15 and come from across the region including Banff and Buchan.

Students on track for careers

Curriculum manager Paul Balfour says the students are doing very well on the course, which has also seen a steady increase in female student numbers.

One student, Charley Hart, 16, is studying for highers which include maths and physics.

Charley Hart.

She said: “I applied through school for the course as part of my subject choices. Last year I did an engineering course here. I think I’m going to try to find an apprenticeship when I’m done, either in engineering or mechanical. Or put them both together and get mechanical engineering.”

She believes she has an aptitude for the work.

“I’ve been to the performance car show at Castle Fraser recently and Buckie car show. And in my own time I work on cars as well. My partner has cars and we’ve done different repairs on them,” she adds.

“I’m still interested in electric cars but not as much as mechanical. And I’m kind of fond of classic cars, too.”

Lewis Smith, 15, from Banff joined the programme a few weeks before the summer and after a few weeks trying out the subject, he was offered a place on the course.

“I said yes because it was good fun and I enjoyed it,” he said.

“In the first weeks it was safety, and were shown the tools and how they worked, putting tyres back on the wheels, that kind of thing.

Lewis Smith.

“Just now we’re working on brakes, removing them cleaning them up and putting them back on.”

So does a career in the motor trade beckon?

“I’ll be here for the whole of S4 and just want to get all of my qualifications,” he adds. “I want to do a job that I like and that pay’s pretty good.

Students working on a vehicle at Nescol.

GMTT has previously donated £2,500 to purchase air-fed masks for automotive apprentices to use at college and work. Financial assistance is available to organisations, and also provided directly to individuals.

For more details on how to apply go to