Researchers win three-year Erasmus funding for employability project

31 August 2016

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) researchers have received Erasmus + funding for an innovative three-year international project promoting employability in the renewable energy sector.

Dr Bob Gilmour and Dr Caroline Gallagher of GCU’s School of Engineering and Built Environment have been awarded over €294k from the British Council, which in the UK manages the Erasmus + Strategic Partnerships in Higher Education programme. It is designed to implement innovative approaches and practices for students, staff and organisations, and develop intensive study programmes.

The project – ‘Promoting excellence in employability and transversal skills’ (PEETS) – will see GCU work collaboratively with the Hague University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, Lahti University of Applied Sciences in Finland, and UK-based construction training provider Constructionarium.

The project aims to develop students’ employability skills in multicultural and interdisciplinary settings associated with the renewable energy industry.

During the first year, students from Scotland, the Netherlands and Finland will attend a unique 10-day intensive study period in Scotland during which they will be exposed to a variety of learning opportunities and environments including site visits, industrial talks, role play, construction activities, and cultural exchange. 

Students will consult with industrial and planning experts and local authorities to plan, design and build their own “mini windfarm”.  Students will then undertake similar study programmes in the Netherlands and Finland focussing on different renewable energy facilities.

The project will use GCU’s Careers and Disability support services to enhance students’ international competencies, and will develop a diagnostic tool in the form of a mobile app which will enable the students to track their individual development in terms of communication, team working and leadership skills.

Dr Gilmour said: “This project is a great example of how GCU, the University for the Common Good, enhances the personal, professional and employability skills of our students by expanding opportunities for work placements and internships, research, enterprise and innovation projects, and international study and cultural experiences through our global networks. By developing responsible leadership, curiosity and divergent thinking, we are creating distinctive global graduates who can address real-world issues and put their ideas into action.”