Foundation Apprentices invited to join in ‘Fuel Change Challenge’

Scotland’s Foundation Apprentices are now being urged to get involved in an exciting new national challenge to develop innovative low carbon solutions to real issues currently being faced by industry.

Launched on Monday 7 September, the Fuel Change Challenge initially encouraged  Modern Apprentices to tackle real carbon challenges set by a range of industry partners from the private sector.

This has led to more than 200 MAs in 38 teams now using their creativity and ingenuity to help tackle climate change and has prompted challenge organisers to widen the field to include Foundation Apprentices across the Scottish college sector.

The aim was to hit the target of a low carbon Scotland and create real, practical solutions which can not only be implemented by the partner companies, but potentially be implemented across the world and make a real difference to climate change.

Five major companies initially supported the initiative including: Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), BAM Nuttall, Scottish Power Energy Networks, National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), and Spirit Aerosystems and all have submitted challenges to work on.

These include: ADL’s challenge to model and design a low carbon electric bus depot for a mid-size Scottish town, BAM Nuttall’s challenge to pioneer sustainable practices and materials in the construction industry; NMIS’ using Digital Twins – a replication of real world processes – to help manufacturing facilities to reduce their carbon footprint; SP Energy Networks’ challenge to develop a plan to make a mixed use site energy neutral and net zero; Spirit Aerosystems’ task proposal to increase the reusability of end-of-life aircraft; and an oil and gas challenge asking MAs to come up with practical suggestions they could present to the heads of the industry, to help it reach net zero carbon emissions.

Stuart Millar, Head of Apprenticeships and Work Based Learning at Ayrshire College, said: “Fuel Change was introduced to help find innovative solutions to real world problems. With work placements for Foundation Apprentices disrupted this year, it seems an ideal project to help the next generation of engineers create, innovate and collaborate towards a better Scotland.”

Challenges are focused around barriers to a low carbon economy or opportunities to create a product or service, which could develop a low carbon market offering.

Apprentices will bring a unique practical perspective to solutions, different to many other innovation challenges before, and expert insight into the operations and processes of an organisation and how their ideas could be applied in the real world.

The initiative is being funded by the Scottish Funding Council and Skills Development Scotland and is being widely backed by Scottish Colleges with four ‘hub’ colleges driving participation and encouraging their partner employers and apprentices to get involved; Forth Valley College, North East Scotland College, Fife College and Ayrshire College.

More information can be found at: www.fuelchange.co.uk