June 8, 2022

  • BEAR Scotland hosts work placement week for local school pupils

BEAR Scotland were delighted to host work placement experiences in May for senior pupils from St Margaret’s Academy in Livingston with an interest in engineering and construction-related careers. The placements were provided in partnership with Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) West Lothian.

Twelve senior pupils were invited to undertake a blended work placement over a full week. Students followed the BEAR Scotland Placement Programme, which involved:

  • Learning about BEAR Scotland and the work it does
  • Discovering and matching their skills with those sought after for careers in engineering and construction
  • Selecting and agreeing team roles to complete a work-related engineering challenge
  • Visiting the Forth Road Bridge for a guided walk and talk to discover how the bridge was constructed and is maintained, including a visit to the north anchorage
  • Working in engineering teams building a bridge structure under severe budget and time constraints (simulating real engineering projects)
  • Presenting their discoveries and findings to a panel of judges, highlighting their review process and demonstrating how this impacted on their final outputs.

Mr Fagan, a maths teacher at St Margaret’s Academy, said: “I’m an engineer myself and I must say, this week has been fantastic for our students. The whole week was a great success.

“In particular, our engineering science students gained a huge amount of insight into the range of skills required and how they are applied. Students were enthusiastic, developing key skills such as team working, communications and working within constraints just as in the real world.

“The visit to BEAR Scotland also showed them the diversity of the workforce and range of different activities just one company can carry out. Vising the Forth Road Bridge really brought the whole week to life for our students and had a huge impact on how they tackled their bridge building challenge.“

Arlene Nicol, DYW West Lothian Project Liaison Officer, commented: “It was fantastic to see how the students grew in confidence over the week and developed their skills. I was particularly impressed by just how much knowledge and understanding they gained about structures and just how enthusiastically they told us about the visit to the bridge and, in particular, the anchorage. It was plain to see just how much this influenced their final designs and structures!”

Mr Shafat, a science/biology and pupil support teacher, commented: “It was absolutely fantastic to work with BEAR Scotland. It was great to see how students developed over the week and to see just how much our students benefited from engaging with a large, respected employer like BEAR Scotland. I can’t thank them enough.”

Quotes from the pupils included:

  • “I really liked my time at BEAR Scotland. The bit I liked the most was going inside the bridge. It was very interesting, and I have learnt a lot of good facts.”
  • “The inspiration of visiting Forth Road Bridge gives me motivation to try to become an engineer.”
  • “I feel that the experience was eye opening and interesting but also fun. It makes you think about things you wouldn’t have thought of before.”
  • “I didn’t really think before how complicated bridges are and how they are built.”
  • “The view was amazing on the bridge, and it actually felt like I was working there. The guy from BEAR Scotland was super nice.”