Wednesday, March 15, 2017


BESA (Building Engineering Services Association) members, Vaughan Engineering Ltd and SCAN Building Services Ltd have kindly donated brand new equipment including piping and fittings, to the Midlothian Campus at Edinburgh College.

Due to budget cuts, colleges across the UK are constantly having to recycle and re-use equipment that is 2 to 3 years old, which quickly becomes worn and tired.  Vaughan Engineering Ltd and SCAN Building Services Ltd’s generosity has been a huge help for both Edinburgh College and BESA H&V apprentices, giving them the right equipment to get the best from their practical training.

“A huge thank you to BESA, Vaughan Engineering Ltd and SCAN Building Services Ltd for this generous donation. Getting to use the latest industry-standard equipment is really important for the apprentices’ learning so their skills are exactly what their employers and the industry in general needs. We work closely with BESA and our industry partners to make sure apprentices get the best training possible,” said Paul Gilbertson, heating and ventilation lecturer at Edinburgh College.

A tour of the heating and ventilation department and a presentation took place during Scottish Apprenticeship Week (6-10 March). The tour was attended by Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh and a member of the Scottish Parliament Education and Skills Committee, as well as BESA staff and apprentices.

“There have been some positive changes since my last visit,” said Colin Beattie, “It’s great to see how engaged the apprentices are and I think this has a lot to do with the teaching style and interaction in the workshops so without the latest equipment this wouldn’t be possible”

Generous donations from members of organisations like BESA are being called on more often, due to government cut backs.  The travel allowance for Scottish apprentices has recently been drastically cut, which means BESA employers are having to put their hands in their pocket once again to pay for apprentices’ travel and accommodation.

“BESA apprentices from Northern Scotland such as the Shetlands, Highlands, Inverness and Aberdeen have no choice but to travel to either Edinburgh or Glasgow to study an apprenticeship in building services,” explained Iain McCaskey, Head of BESA Scotland, “Apprentices are spending a full day in college, then have to travel 2 to 3 hours to get home, where they spend an extra hour working on their portfolio so it makes more sense for them to stay near college during the week. The government cuts will have a huge impact on the building services industry and as an Association we need to fight back on behalf of our members.”

Mr McCaskey explained the BESA had already met with Skills Development Scotland to voice their concerns. Colin Beattie, originally from Forfar, Angus, empathised with the situation and said he would raise the issue in Parliament and to the Education Skills Committee.

For more information about apprenticeships and training visit

Share this post