The Academy9 programme was launched yesterday at Kingussie High School by Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities.
The ‘Academy9’ programme will give pupils in schools along the A9 between Perth and Inverness the opportunity to learn more about the massive engineering project, apply mathematical, scientific and design aspects of the scheme to their schoolwork, and secure future training and job opportunities. It will also provide students with the opportunity to learn more about the engineering challenges of duelling this vital route.
As the work is stepped up across the programme, there will also be opportunities for training and apprenticeships culminating in the chance to work on the A9 Dualling programme or other major projects.
Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities. said:
“Dualling the A9 represents the largest and one of the most challenging infrastructure projects in Scotland’s history – through this pioneering initiative it is also an investment in the next generation of engineers, designers and construction workers.
The A9 Dualling programme offers a great opportunity to engage and educate with pupils able to apply mathematical, scientific and design aspects of this massive engineering scheme to their schoolwork as well as secure future training and job opportunities.
Not only will the Academy9 programme offer students the opportunity to learn about the dualling programme and the many challenges involved, it will also provide them with the opportunity of training and apprenticeships with the ultimate goal of getting them ready for a career in engineering.
We are starting the programme with 9 year olds – the so-called “A9’ers” who are due to leave school in 2025. These students will get design and construction experience which could influence their future career choices. The programme will also be available to older students giving them an opportunity to be trained and work on the A9 dualling programme.
It’s an exciting time to be involved in work to dual the A9 with construction set to start shortly on the first section between Kincraig and Dalraddy, and design work progressing well across all the other sections.
Today’s launch shows just one of the many exciting benefits the A9 Dualling programme is delivering for local communities, with more educational, training and employment opportunities expected as the work accelerates.”
As well as an address from Mr Brown the event itself involved all of the Primary 5 Pupils from the Kingussie Associated School Group taking part in construction related teamwork activities to learn more about the A9 and the construction industry. The activities were lead by S3 Mentors from Kingussie High School.
Headteacher, Mr Bray said
“I am incredibly proud of all of the young people who took part in the event today. Our S3 mentors were just excellent with the P5 pupils and they had a brilliant time working in teams with their polder peers. For many of the P5s this will be their first visit to KHS and I am delighted it has been such a positive experience for them.
As a school we are looking forward to building on the momentum of Academy9 as we are conscious that the A9 duelling will be a big part of our lives for the next ten years. We have already re-introduced construction skills into the curriculum and we look forward to working with our partners at Inverness College: UHI to introduce a Foundation Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering.”
Our local policeman Stuart Mackellaig has been in school recently talking about Drugs and Alcohol education with groups of S3 students as part of our Social Education programme. He also dropped off some excellent new posters and teaching resources.
We have started an exciting new inter-generational project (in partnership with BIG in Highland) looking at how we can support older learners in Aviemore and Kingussie to get to grips with the Internet and help them keep in touch with their families. First training session was yesterday!
On Wednesday we held our first S5 / S6 Employability Event at KHS.
Our S5 and S6 were told to come dressed to impress as if they were going for an interview and didn’t they look smart!
In the afternoon we welcomed partners from Cairngorm Skills Partnership, Job Centre Plus, Cairngorm National Park, Cairngorm Mountain, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Skills Development Scotland, DMH Blacksmiths Ltd, Glentruim Estate, CITB and Highlife Highland.
Students took part in short workshops about interview skills, CVs, application forms and being prepared / fit for work. A massive thanks to everyone who supported such a great afternoon.
Massive thanks to Mrs Duthie and Mr Deans for all the hard work that they put in to organising the event and an even more massive thanks to all of our partners who gave up their time to help.