Fife College is deservedly renowned for our many strong connections with local and national employers.
Employers and the college both benefit from these links. For example, our connections to Fife Council means they benefit from a steady stream of well-trained future employees, while the college can attract students thanks to an established career path.
Fife Council is the largest single employer in the area, with over 20,000 staff. The Council also maintains a fleet of almost 2,000 vehicles, which are used to deliver a whole range of services throughout the region.
Such a large and important fleet of vehicles requires a highly trained and professional team of automotive engineers.
This means there are some great opportunities for our students. On average, 10 Fife Council Automotive Modern Apprentices undertake training at the College every year. The Council also regularly recruit from our full-time students undertaking pre-apprenticeship programmes, as they are confident of the quality of teaching they receive, and the high standard of knowledge and skills they develop at the College.
Fife Council also work closely with the college to access continued development programmes focusing on Heavy Goods Vehicle maintenance inspections (IRTEC) to keep their MOT first time pass rate high, as well as other courses covering new technology (Electric / Hybrid Vehicle), to MOT Nominated Tester and MOT Centre Manager courses.
Our team works hard to maintain a strong and mutually beneficial working relationship with the Council and we have developed multiple new and exciting initiatives designed to strengthen this employer connection and provide our students and staff with a range of opportunities and benefits.
Modern ApprenticeshipsAt Fife College, we hold one of the most valuable Modern Apprenticeship contracts in Scotland, thanks to our links to Fife Council.
The Council regularly recruits our best full-time students for their MA programmes – with MAs learning from professional automotive technicians with years of hands-on experience, as well as being able to test themselves in a working environment.
Council MAs are trained by our expert lecturers using the industry standard facilities at our Stenton Campus. These experiences are invaluable for MAs as they look to progress onto employment within the industry.
Having worked closely with our students through work placement opportunities, the Council are aware of their capabilities, and are assured of the high quality teaching they have received. Fife Council is confident the College can give them the information they need when offering students MAs or other positions within their teams at the end of each year.
Hybrid vehicle trainingFife Council uses green hydrogen fuelled range-extenders on both the hybrid and fully electric vehicles in its fleet.
Our Automotive team have adapted to this and now deliver hybrid vehicle training to 50% of the Council’s vehicle technicians on a specially developed and bespoke version of our Hybrid Electric Vehicle Operation and Maintenance (IMI Level 2) course.
This training greatly improves the Council technicians’ knowledge of system layouts, and health and safety considerations which they need to be aware of when maintaining council vehicles.
This specialist training was only made possible because of the excellent working relationship between the College and the Council. After months of collaboration, specific training requirements were identified.
As a result, the Council’s vehicle technician workforce was able to receive the highest standard of training and upskill for their job. This also benefited the College, as it was a large contract that was placed against our commercial target for Automotive Engineering.
IRTECFife College became an IRTEC (Institute of Road Transport Engineers Certificate) approved testing centre after being approached by Fife Council to deliver training to its staff. IRTEC is an accreditation scheme which assesses the safety and competence of technicians who maintain and repair vehicles.
To date, the College has trained 26 of the Council’s HGV technicians – who are amongst the first employees from any Scottish local authority to achieve this registration. The training has also resulted in a rise in the first-attempt pass rate stats for the Council’s inspection assessments from 92% to 98%.
The College is happy to support the Council in its efforts to ensure that all of their HGV technicians have achieved IRTEC accreditation in order to improve their maintenance standards and MOT pass rate, as well as contributing to their commitment to road safety.
Well-equipped workshopsFife College houses modern classrooms, fully equipped vehicle workshops containing the latest repair tools and diagnostic test equipment, a motorcycle workshop and a dedicated MOT bay.
The team of lecturers and assessors possess a wealth of experience from careers in the motor trade.
Fife College offers over 200 nationally recognised IMI qualifications and accreditations that are motor industry specific, allowing candidates from all levels to improve their knowledge and skills.
Whether you are a professional in the motor industry or a school leaver looking to enter the industry, Fife College has a course to suit your level of experience.
To find out more, contact Stephen Ayton, Curriculum Manager: Mechanical and Automotive Engineering at Fife College.