West College Scotland & BAE Systems Surface Naval

The College

Activate Learning

West College Scotland has campuses in Clydebank, Greenock and Paisley teaching over 20,000 students. The college is community-based and committed to providing educational opportunities to a wide range of learners.

They offer courses in the community all year round and work closely with local authorities to improve access to learning opportunities.

The Employer

BAE Systems Surface Naval designs and manufactures naval ships and submarines, as well as combat systems and equipment.

They also offer a variety of associated services to support ships and equipment in service around the world. They employ 7,000 people and operate with 20,000 suppliers from across the world.

The Partnership

West College Scotland is in partnership with BAE Systems Naval Ships in Glasgow, which pre-dates the creation of the college through a merger in 2013 and extends back at least 15 years. Their engagement with BAE Systems Naval Ships ensures that the company has a secure and reliable training provider and shapes the college’s curriculum through the real-world needs of the industry.

Most recently, in 2018, they delivered an “Enabling Supervisor Essentials” programme through the Flexible Workforce Development Fund. This innovative programme was a response to a gap in the training model. The college also trains two groups of BAE Systems Modern Apprentices, one in Engineering and the other in Combat Systems. In addition, they recently completed a tranche of work wherein lecturers spent more than 300 hours observing BAE’s technicians across Electrical, Joinery and Steelwork disciplines.

The Benefits

The college’s partnership with the company has allowed staff to stay abreast of best practice in the sector, thereby enhancing teaching and learning and improving the lecturing staff’s skills set. It means that they’ve had to respond quickly and flexibly when required to do so, developing their experience in responding to the demands and pressures of a modern, multi-national, high profile business.

BAE Systems is a blue-chip company with a listing on the FTSE-100, so, it has been very beneficial commercially to West College Scotland to be able to market themselves as a long-term partner to a company of such scale and prestige. Additionally, BAE Systems Naval Ships in Glasgow was awarded the prestigious BAE Systems Chairman’s Business Leader Award 2018 in the “Innovating for Success” category thanks to their part in delivering the “Enabling Supervisor Essentials” programme.

The “Enabling Supervisor Essentials” programme delivered training to new-to-role supervisors. Whereas before they had been expected to hit the ground running without ever having received the formal management training that would allow them to meet the expectations of the role, this training properly equipped them to understand and meet those expectations.

Together they created a bespoke training package, delivered by their highly qualified educational professionals, ensuring the best possible quality of learning to their supervisory staff. This approach helped provide the essential information required to allow them to carry out the role while giving a better understanding of responsibilities within the delivery team.

BAE Systems received very good feedback from the staff that was getting trained, saying that it was very comprehensive and valuable. While the organisation was grateful to receive recognition for the work by winning the Chairman’s Award for “Innovating for Success”, the true value is in the benefit provided to their staff. “We could not have done it without West College Scotland - a big thanks to all involved”, they said.

What they say

Hear first hand from colleges and employers about their experiences.

The training designed and delivered by BAE and West College Scotland through the “Enabling Supervisor Essentials” has been really successful. The feedback from staff was extremely positive; the training was comprehensive, highlighted and helped them understand the role and responsibilities of a Supervisor. Other members of staff also benefited.

The true value is in the benefit the programme has provided to our Supervisors. We could not have done it without West College Scotland. So, a big thanks to everyone involved, from start to finish.

Thomas McCartney, Capability Coordinator at BAE Systems

We are proud of our partnership with BAE Systems Naval Ships. For many years, we have helped deliver Modern Apprenticeships, as well as other training.

The recent success of the ‘Enabling Supervisor Essentials’ programme and the recognition it has gained within the wider BAE family is a great credit to the Glasgow-based team and also the expertise and professionalism of West College Scotland’s lecturing staff and commercial team.

And we are delighted that our College is a trusted partner of BAE Systems, as the company looks to deliver more training and upskilling programmes to its workforce, through access to the Flexible Workforce Development Fund.

Liz Connolly, Principal and Chief Executive at West College Scotland

Want to know more?

For a collection of all the great case studies featured as part of the campaign, please check out our employer engagement prospects.

We’d also love to hear from employer about how Collab Group colleges can work with you to help fill your business needs.