TWO Clydesdale students were given pride of place at the opening of New College Lanarkshire new £2.3 million heavy vehicle training centre in Motherwell.
Sixteen-year-old Fraser Boyd, of Auchengray, and Gabriella Jagger (19), who lives in Carluke, were present as Roseanna Cunningham MSP opened the state-of-the-art training centre at the college’s Motherwell Campus.
The new training facility is designed to foster a new generation of heavy vehicle engineers in Lanarkshire.
Fraser is a trainee mechanic with A.L Campbell Haulage in Carstairs and studies three days per week at the HGV Training Centre.
He said: “I’ve always been interested in working with heavy machinery. I’ve been fixing cars, lorries and tractors for a few years now as a hobby.
“I got myself into the Heavy Vehicle course at New College Lanarkshire by going in and asking about apprenticeship opportunities to get more hands-on experience.
“The course has been really good; there has been more to learn than I expected.”
Gabriella refuses to let her slight build get in the way of her objective to overcome difficult tasks.
She joined the Heavy Vehicle course after completing the Intro to Vehicle Technology access course, which included motorcycles, bodywork and light vehicle.
She said: “I wanted to move on to something bigger and more challenging. It has been really good.
“We have a lot of machinery to help us with the physical side of things, such as tyre machines to help us remove them from wheels.
“The theory side is a lot more in-depth than what I studied last year, but I’m coping really well with it.
“When I finish I’d like to either go into employment or join the Army as a mechanic.”
The workshop itself is big enough to fit six buses at one time.
It has drop-down utilities for things such as water and air supply, exhaust extractors and wireless-enabled portable vehicle lifts to ensure a trip-free zone.
The centre itself was designed by staff at the college to make the space as user-friendly as possible.
Martin McGuire, principal of New College Lanarkshire, said: “We are extremely proud of our new HGV Training Centre, which will further confirm our Motherwell Campus as a sector leader in automotive training provision in Scotland.
“The state-of-the-art facilities on offer will allow us to train a new generation of heavy vehicle engineers here in the heart of Lanarkshire.
“We look forward to welcoming new students, and staff already working in the road transport industry, through its doors for decades to come.”