West Lothian College students graduate at home

The main event at West Lothian College in the last week of October 2020 was our Graduate at Home ceremony and, as principal of the college, I was delighted to take part. It was more important than ever to celebrate this year’s graduates. They are the generation of students that kept going through a worldwideContinue reading “West Lothian College students graduate at home”

Colleges will help make the Young Person’s Guarantee a reality

Mass youth unemployment has featured large in my personal and professional life. As a teenager, I was one of over a million unemployed young people in the 1980s. As a civil servant, I advised government ministers and worked with partners to design initiatives to tackle youth unemployment from 2008 to 2013. As the principal ofContinue reading “Colleges will help make the Young Person’s Guarantee a reality”

West Lothian College students shine

At this year’s virtual graduation ceremony Fiona Hyslop MSP announced the winners of the West Lothian College Student of the Year awards. These awards recognise students who, on top of their academic achievement, stood out through their commitment to the college, supporting others, or achieving additional skills from work experience or volunteering. There were six awards presentedContinue reading “West Lothian College students shine”

MESSAGE TO THE CLASS OF 2020

Over 500 students graduated from West Lothian College this year. Hundreds of new graduates with the skills, qualifications and knowledge that will make a difference to people’s lives, to communities, and to the economy at a local, regional and national level. Here’s my Principal’s message to our Class of 2020. Graduation is special, although itContinue reading “MESSAGE TO THE CLASS OF 2020”

West Lothian College Ambassador Award presented to John McGee

The West Lothian College Ambassador Award recognises a person who has made a huge difference to our college over the year. This award essentially gives that person lifetime freedom of the college. This year, I was delighted to announce that the recipient of the West Lothian College Ambassador Award is John McGee. About a year intoContinue reading “West Lothian College Ambassador Award presented to John McGee”

ADAmant that we will debug the gender gap in tech!

Ada Lovelace Day 2020 took place on 13 October and Scottish colleges like West Lothian College are ADAmant that we will attract more girls and women into science, engineering, technology and maths (STEM). The following post is an extended version of one published by TES on Ada Lovelace Day this year. Colleges across Scotland work withContinue reading “ADAmant that we will debug the gender gap in tech!”

Your Voice, Only Louder!

On 16 June 2020 West Lothian College’s Board of Governors said farewell to our Student President and Vice President, Michelle Low and Gemma Reynolds, who had just completed a two-term period of office. Board members thanked Michelle and Gemma for their contribution to improving the quality of our students’ learning experience, for the support theyContinue reading “Your Voice, Only Louder!”

Growing and Diversifying the Early Years and Childcare Workforce

In the week before the country closed down due to the coronavirus, I spoke at a Scotland Policy Conferences Keynote Seminar on 12 March on Growing and Diversifying the Early Years and Childcare Workforce. The aim of the event was to discuss how to achieve the Scottish Government’s planned expansion of funded hours in childcareContinue reading “Growing and Diversifying the Early Years and Childcare Workforce”

MESSAGE TO THE CLASS OF 2019

Graduation is a special day and I was very privileged to be part of West Lothian College’s 2019 celebrations on Saturday 26 October. Sharing the success of our graduates rounded off a great year for the college. In 2018-19, we had the highest ever number of students and the best student results in over tenContinue reading “MESSAGE TO THE CLASS OF 2019”

West Lothian College — a year in numbers

At this point in the college year, our priority is ensuring our students are settling well into their new courses. If you follow us on Twitter (@westlocoll) you will see many examples of how we’re achieving that. We also reflect on the year that has just finished to understand how we can continue to improveContinue reading “West Lothian College — a year in numbers”

Proud to be an interrupter!

Wednesday 11 September 2019. Remember that date. It marked the beginning of something big in digital in West Lothian. Over 370 people attended West Lothian College’s inaugural digital festival, Interrupt19. It was the first large-scale digital conference of its kind in Scotland – aimed specifically at college computing students and school pupils who had access toContinue reading “Proud to be an interrupter!”

How I got into tech

My life before computers I never planned to have a career in technology. At school, I had a wide range of interests and achieved highers in Maths, Chemistry, English, German, Geography, History and Modern Studies. While I went through phases of liking particular subjects, my favourite subject throughout secondary school was English. A career inContinue reading “How I got into tech”

Proud to support PRIDE

On 27 July 2019 nearly 2,000 people took part in West Lothian PRIDE at West Lothian College.  The college has hosted West Lothian PRIDE festival for five years now and I’m very proud that we are a partner in this important annual event. I was invited to speak at the rally along with Deputy Council Leader, KirsteenContinue reading “Proud to support PRIDE”

My career – long and winding but no wrong path!

At school I achieved Higher qualifications in English, Maths, Chemistry, German, Geography, History and Modern Studies. I enjoyed all of these subjects but I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school. In my sixth year, however, I gave in to (well-meaning) pressure from teachers to apply for university. I wasn’tContinue reading “My career – long and winding but no wrong path!”

Interrupt19 — Daring to be digital!

At West Lothian College we want to help address the digital skills shortage in Scotland, so that as many people as possible can take advantage of the many opportunities available now and in the future. It is widely reported that over 12,500 digital technologies job opportunities are created each year in Scotland. While 40% of people inContinue reading “Interrupt19 — Daring to be digital!”

Investing in our people

On 30 May 2019, West Lothian College moved beyond its existing Investors in People Bronze status to achieve Silver accreditation.  West Lothian College first achieved Investors in People recognition in 2010 and achieved Bronze status under the previous 5th Generation Framework in 2016. We use the Investors in People framework to review and improve our people managementContinue reading “Investing in our people”

Ambitious for West Lothian

On 14 March I welcomed 42 guests – including 30 businesses from the private sector as well as national and local stakeholders – to our award-winning Terrace training restaurant to talk about how we can make a difference together. I started as principal of West Lothian College seven months ago. Since then, I’ve spent timeContinue reading “Ambitious for West Lothian”

Graduation – a new dawn, a new day, a new life

I started as principal of West Lothian College in August this year.  On Saturday 27 October, I was very privileged and and felt very proud to join 230 graduating students and nearly 700 of their guests celebrate their success at our Graduation Ceremony. Graduation is one of the most special days in the college year.Continue reading “Graduation – a new dawn, a new day, a new life”

Shortening (and Expanding) the Learner Journey

This is the tenth year of West Lothian College’s partnership with Napier University, where we deliver year 3 of the BA Business Management degree at the college, and our students progress to fourth year honours or masters at university. Over 300 of our students have now studied this degree at college. After graduating with a first class honours degreeContinue reading “Shortening (and Expanding) the Learner Journey”

GE are family!

The Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills visited Ayrshire College in July to launch year two of the Flexible Workforce Development Fund. Some of the employers who are taking advantage of the FWDF through the college to develop their workforce came along to share their experiences with the minister. One of these companies is Prestwick-based GEContinue reading “GE are family!”