Online training pays off for New College Lanarkshire’s CAD team

NEW College Lanarkshire’s CAD team has continued to deliver training to the construction industry during lockdown.

Lecturers in Computer Aided Design disciplines have transitioned to online delivery for employees of Babcock International Group and Keppie Design.

Earlier this year, the college won the ‘Best BIM Training Programme’ at the BIM Awards in Newcastle.

CADD (Computer Aided Design & Draughting) lecturers Fraser Hainey and Lisa Nicholson have transferred a course to remote learning which is normally taught at Babcock’s Rosyth site. Last year Babcock asked NCL to deliver training in the company’s Trainee Designer Programme. Since training began in April 2019, more than 30 employees have undertaken the programme.

Fraser Hainey said, “Both NCL and Babcock initiated working from home around the same time in March, with Babcock providing the Trainees with computers to work from home. Using a combination of Whatsapp, Zoom, Moodle and Screencast, which is screen recording from Autodesk, as well as other software, the course has continued very effectively.

“This is a condensed version of the HNC in CADD which is normally delivered at our Motherwell and Hamilton campuses. We also offer the trainees a chance to sit Autodesk User Exams in AutoCAD & Inventor software. After training from ourselves, and further on-the-job training by Babcock, their new job title will be design engineers in either electrical, mechanical or structural streams.”

Prior to lockdown, Fraser delivered training on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at Rosyth, with Lisa Nicholson travelling to the Fife site on Mondays.

Fraser added, “Adapting to a new working and learning environment at home, especially for those with children, has been challenging. But we’ve overcome this by being flexible with our working hours and through use of technology, like regular Zoom meetings and chats on Whatsapp.

“I have found the challenge of adapting to working from home very rewarding – I’ve really enjoyed being a ‘guinea pig’ in running a course from home and how successful it has been. This gives me confidence that myself and the college can rise to a challenge like this again in the future.”

Meanwhile, CAADT (Computer Aided Architectural Design & Technology) lecturer Michael McGuire has delivered training for new recruits to architectural practice Keppie Design.

Michael provided online Revit training to five architectural technologists recently appointed by Keppie. The training, funded through the government’s Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF), had been scheduled to be delivered at the College’s Hamilton Campus.

Michael explained, “We have delivered training to Keppie’s employees over the past few years, and these usually take the form of day release classes. There were some issues amongst the students with the software installation, so I filmed videos and recorded the lessons, which did involve a lot more work than would normally be involved in face-to-face learning.

“In addition to the Keppie training, I’ve also been hosting a series of online quizzes for students of Architectural Technology – and we’ve had interest from people in Australia who want to be involved.”

Barry Skea, head of faculty of engineering and automotive commented, “It is testament to the dedication and ingenuity of our lecturers that we have been able to transition to online delivery of industry training contracts so quickly under these exceptional circumstances.”