Bruce Duffy NC Mechanical Engineering Level 6

NC Mechanical Engineering Level 6 student Bruce Duffy has found that studying West Lothian College has been a stepping stone to a promising career path.

At 19 years old Bruce admitted that there was a bit of a steep learning curve at the beginning of his course but support from lecturers alongside Bruce’s strong work ethic have led to some amazing opportunities for Bruce.

“Although I had a general interest in engineering, I didn’t actually know too much about the course when I started. However the course is taught at a pace that allows you to follow everything that is happening and the lecturers are really approachable if there is something you are struggling with. I really found college to be a great learning environment.”

Bruce applied himself to the course and looked to make the best of every available opportunity. When the chance of organising work experience presented itself he was quick to research a wide range of potential employers.  Bruce secured a work placement with Bathgate firm Plexus.

Plexus is a global leader in complex product design, manufacturing, supply chain and aftermarket services. It serves customers in sectors covering networking & communications, industrial, healthcare, life sciences, defence and aerospace. Plexus chose West Lothian for their expanded European headquarters, opening a new £9m centre for design and electronic manufacturing in June 2013.

Bruce’s internship had him balance work experience with an adapted college timetable - spending 3 days a week at college and 2 days at Plexus.  This has developed into Bruce moving onto Herriot Watt University Design, Engineering & Management degree – sponsored by Plexus and combined with blended work experience.

Plexus has operated in the local area for a number of years and has a strong history in developing a skilled and dedicated workforce and this has provided Bruce with a fantastic opportunity to develop his skills with a company with a strong reputation worldwide.

“The opportunities that have been made available to me since coming to West Lothian College really have been amazing. Working at Plexus has given me first hand industry experience that I probably wouldn’t have been able to gain in any other scenario.”

When asked what advice he would give to anyone thinking about a course at West Lothian College, Bruce offered these words.

“College has been great for me. It has bridged the path to employment and given me options I would have never had otherwise. The course has allowed me to explore various career options in various specialisms in Engineering.”

Click here find out more about engineering courses at West Lothian College.