Get Engineering for a career with real potential

A number of local engineering firms have teamed up with South West College to launch scholarships to engineering apprentices. Powerscreen, McCloskeys International and BlueMac recently awarded scholarships to talented engineering apprentices on Higher Level Apprenticeship and Gold Apprenticeship in engineering programmes.

The scholarships were launched at the recent Get Engineering Careers Fair, at SWC Dungannon where over 30 mechanical, manufacturing and electrical engineering employers gathered to pitch opportunities to job seekers and those thinking about starting a career in engineering.

Higher Level Apprentices in Manufacturing Engineering, Mark McBride and Michael Jones were each awarded the Blue MAC Scholarship by Sean McBride (BlueMAC) and Maria Hackett (Head of Industry and Training, SWC). (Missing from the photo is Aaron Wilson).

The ‘Get Engineering’ initiative is designed to give those thinking about a career or learning and training options in engineering, a flavour of the prospects and potential for progression within the booming local industry.

Ciaran McManus, said, ‘Engineering is a major sector of employment in the south west region and the growth of this sector is hugely important for the growth of the local economy. These scholarships recognise individuals who have made and who continue to make an exceptional contribution on their programmes at the college and also in their workplace.’

£10,000 in scholarships awarded to seven aspiring Northern Ireland civil engineers

ICE Northern Ireland has awarded seven QUEST Technician scholarships totalling £10,000 to outstanding budding civil engineers, all of whom are following different paths into industry, including four students from South West College.

The QUEST Technician scholarship is worth up to £1,500 for students or apprentices on further or higher education courses that could lead to becoming an ICE Technician member (EngTech MICE).

Working for Whitemountain, Jack Henry is attending South West College through the Work+ apprenticeship scheme. He became interested in civil engineering after being inspired by the construction of the Derry-Londonderry Peace Bridge, and now has long-term goal of becoming a chartered civil engineer.

Tristan Harpur works as a Lowry Building & Civil Engineering apprentice, and is also studying Civil and Environmental Engineering at South West College. He became interested in civil engineering after realising the vast opportunities and technology available to civil engineers, as well as the satisfaction engineers gained from solving problems. Tristan has been involved in several projects which have gained several regional and national awards. He says the awards were a “massive confidence boost,” and showed him that “working as a team can help you create something you couldn’t do yourself.”

Sile McKinney is a Work+ apprentice with Lagan Construction Group, and is studying at South West College. She has done extensive volunteer work related to earthquake relief both in New Zealand and in Nepal. She hopes to continue her studies and earn a BEng, then to work in earthquake response. She says her volunteer experiences gave her “insight into the vulnerability of people’s lives” relating to the buildings in which they live and work.

Jack Mitchell, who is doing a Foundation Degree at South West College, is simultaneously working as a trainee engineer at Henry Brothers. He says that his passion for business and enterprise has inspired his goal of establishing his own civil engineering business. However, he says that “with much to learn about the construction industry, my current objective is knowledge, qualification, and experience.”

Open Day 2018

The third of our 2018 Open Days takes place in Dungannon on 27th March. After successful days in Omagh and Enniskillen, plans are well underway for another fantastic occasion, showcasing all that South West College has to offer to prospective students.


Fashion, beauty and hair students unite for ‘Creative Mash-up’

Forget London, Paris and Milan, South West College was causing a stir in the fashion world last week. Students in Omagh hosted the second annual ‘Creative Mash-up’, a catwalk showcase of hairdressing and beauty therapy talent, style and creative flair. The event was in the planning for many months with students and staff focused on this live project-based learning experience that involved students from the college’s media department working alongside beauty therapy, hairdressing and photography students.

Gloria Dickson, SWC Curriculum Manager, said, “Such cross college departmental engagement strengthens the student’s ability to engage in a whole new way. Events like this provide learning beyond the classroom, boost confidence and enhance employability skills.”

The students were delighted that many of their family, friends and employers came along to the sold out show. On display was a host of unique and bold hairdressing styles, makeup and outfits that inspired the imagination through colour and inventiveness.


Sports Therapy and Massage

Paul Feeney, a Sports Injury and Massage Therapist based at Advanced Cryo Care in Donaghmore, visited the Sports Therapy and Massage students in Dungannon to talk about cryotherapy and how it is used in his sports injury treatment and rehabilitation clinic. Cryotherapy is the use of liquid nitrogen-based freezing technology on a concentrated area, to target and treat a variety of benign and malignant tissue damage. The students were given an insightful overview on the equipment, processes and benefits of cryotherapy, which is a relatively new treatment for sports injuries in Northern Ireland.



Beauty Therapy, International Placement

Over the last three weeks, some of our Level Three Beauty Therapists have been enjoying an amazing placement opportunity in Asturias, northern Spain. It has been a unique opportunity for them to expand their knowledge and lean about Spanish culture and customs. In their time away the students have also enjoyed some time off during which they’ve been able to enjoy some more of the wonderful sights northern Spain has to offer. Their adventures took them to Covadonga, Ribadesella and the Jurassic museum of Asturias. We’ll have more from their experience away in future editions of Front Page Friday!


Sports Students on Erasmus

Sticking with European travels, some of our sports students have been in Tenerrife. Again, we’ll hear more from them in future editions of Front Page Friday.


Stephen Hawking, who died last Wednesday, was famed for his intellect and the work he produced; his illness, motor neurone disease, and his ability to overcome it; and his sense of humour and personality. The combination of these things, amongst others, meant that he was one of the most important physicists of his age, and perhaps the greatest ambassador for science of his time, and ensured that he had a huge cultural, as well as scientific, impact on the world…read more on Way out West.

50430104 – high resolution images presents creating planets of the solar system.