Government Minister visits West Lothian College

West Lothian College welcomed Richard Lochhead MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science to its Livingston campus to highlight the importance of encouraging more young people to study and work in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

The visit took place on the day that the Scottish Government published the second annual report on progress on the priorities set out in its National STEM Education and Training Strategy.

During the visit the government minister met construction apprentices and students, their lecturers, and some of the companies that work closely with the college including Cameron Drywall, Morrison Construction, Walker Timber and the Winchburgh Development Trust.

Richard Lochhead dropped in on HNC Cyber Security students in the college’s new cyber lab and heard about their plans to work in Scotland’s growing digital sector.

On the same day that the college held its ground-breaking Sustainability Summit, the minister highlighted the growing need for STEM skills to tackle global issues as he met nursery and primary pupils and teachers from Dedridge Primary and Glenvue Nursery who were using real tools and recycled materials to build a sustainable ‘town’ on college grounds.

Richard Lochhead said: “Only by creating excellence and equity in STEM education and training do we stand a chance of tackling the climate emergency and other global challenges where these skills are vital. We have always been an innovation nation, whether at the forefront of researching and developing new approaches to reducing emissions or engaging with the climate change debate and making informed decisions in everyday life.”

Jackie Galbraith, Principal of West Lothian College and Chair of the national STEM Hubs Steering Group, said: “We are a big supporter of the national STEM strategy. Over the past year, through the West Lothian STEM Hub, over a thousand nursery, primary and secondary pupils have taken part in exciting events at the college.

“By raising awareness of STEM careers amongst young people and offering high quality science, computing and engineering courses and apprenticeships we are helping to achieve the government’s ambition of Scotland as an innovation nation.”