Future focus to underpin NESCol’s role in regional economic recovery

June 11, 2020

A focus on job roles of the future is being highlighted as a key component of the North East’s economic recovery.

As the area comes to terms with the local, national and international challenges the Coronavirus outbreak has brought, the lessons of the past will be crucial in shaping what lays ahead.

Experience gained during previous periods of economic instability is already being used as part of a proactive and collaborative approach.

Neil Cowie, Principal of North East Scotland College, said: “Stakeholders across the region are working together and the strength of those partnerships will be vital. In education, training, economic development and in business there’s a shared determination to be proactive.

“The North East faced significant challenges during the downturn in the oil and gas sector and a similar response will be required as we face the impact of Coronavirus. The diversification and innovation that was a feature then will be significant now.”

The College’s role in established sectors such as hospitality, construction and the service industries spans generations – but the part it has to play in emerging job markets will be equally important.

Employers expectations of the workforce of the future range from engineering skills central to energy transition and renewables, expertise to support the growing demand for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure through to cyber security, robotics and much more in between.

Neil Cowie added: “The well-established NESCol curiculum areas continue to evolve and we are also responsive to the needs of industry – now and for the future. Transferable skills are becoming increasingly important, particularly as the regional economy enters another period of change.

“A multitude of new jobs will continue to be created and it is important to remain positive. Education, training and reskilling will be vital to support the economic recovery.

“We can’t predict every new role that will be created in the years ahead – but we can prepare our students and ensure they’re ready to embrace every opportunity. Many of the roles available today didn’t exist a decade ago and we want all of our students to be equipped for change in every sector.

“Engineering is a powerful example. In the past the majority of our engineers would have moved on to traditional careers in oil and gas, but the demand now is far more varied. From modern apprentices working on the Moray East Offshore Wind Farm and plans for an Energy Transition Zone to electrical engineers in the rail industry, the skills our students learn are developing and being applied in new and innovative ways.

“Computing is another exciting area that gives students a pathway to rapidly expanding fields of work. In robotics and automation, application development, cyber security and Artificial Intelligence the jobs of the future will be built upon the knowledge our students are learning today.”

Throughout this week NESCol is turning the focus on STEM subjects, with a programme including yesterday’s virtual open session to provide guidance to prospective students and an online application workshop tomorrow. Find out more here.

Applications are being accepted for 2020/21 courses starting in the new academic year and a full range of support services continue to be offered to existing students. Further advice for students and applicants is available at by email at studentadvice@nescol.ac.uk .