Fife College has received three nominations for this year’s College Development Network (CDN) Awards.

The College has been shortlisted in the Employer Connections and Innovation categories with Fife College Students’ Association (FCSA) Manager, Craig Walker, also named a finalist in the Colleague of the Year section.

The CDN Awards celebrate the talent, skills and achievements of colleges, their staff, and learners from across Scotland, as well as giving an opportunity to showcase the innovation that exists within the sector.

The College has been recognised in the Innovation Award category for a unique new project, delivered in partnership with Historic & Environment Scotland, Scottish Lime Centre Trust and St Andrews High School, which addresses key issues facing the construction sector. 

Recognising a skills shortage in this area - particularly for site operatives - the collaborative project tapped into the strong push towards digitisation of the industry to modernise the early stages of the College’s construction curriculum.

Whilst still retaining key traditional construction elements, the programme utilised innovative technologies, such as scanning software, to conduct building surveys. This has allowed students an opportunity to enhance digital skills and literacy as well as work through video-editing skills, introducing the concept of video evidence for e-portfolios.  

This year’s Employer Connections nomination, a category which the College won at 2019 event, is for the Automotive Engineering Department’s efforts to forge strong partnership links.  

Numerous partnerships, particularly with Fife Council, have allowed many students, employers and staff to develop their skills and practices through the co-operative sharing of knowledge, experience and opportunities – underlining the College’s position as an important community collaboration hub.   

Stephen Ayton, Academic & Quality Manager for Mechanical, Automotive, Energy & Fabrication at Fife College, said: “Our employer partnerships, particularly with Fife Council, provide valuable opportunities and experiences for students and staff; from training and career-long professional learning (CLPL), to invaluable hand-on work experience, and often employment too.”

“We pride ourselves on these strong connections with employers at Fife College, so it’s fantastic to be named as a finalist at this year’s CDN Awards for our work in this area.”

Craig Walker’s nomination for the Colleague of the Year award follows his Staff Member of the Year success at last year’s NUS (National Union of Students) Scotland awards where he was recognised for his dedication to enhancing students’ experience and wellbeing.

Craig has held his current manager position for three years but has been an important part of the FCSA for much longer, playing a key role in developing the work of the Students’ Association in creative and positive ways.

He has supported student officers to achieve their full potential, and built meaningful relationships with College staff, the student population, the National Union of Students Scotland (NUS), Student Partnerships in Quality Scotland (sparqs), the College Development Network (CDN), and also other colleges across Scotland too.

Craig said: “I am honoured to be named a finalist in the Colleague of the Year category at this year’s CDN Awards. This nomination, and my success at the NUS Awards, really would not have been possible without the brilliant people I work with every day and I’d like to thank them all for their continued support.”

The winners of the CDN Awards 2020 will be announced at a virtual celebration on Thursday, 3 December 2020.