High-tech equipment donations help New College Lanarkshire apprentices improve youth centre security

Modern Apprentices from a leading New College Lanarkshire training programme have designed, installed and commissioned a state-of-the-art CCTV security system for a local youth centre – thanks to a generous donation of £1600 worth of equipment and expert input from three leading UK security and networking systems companies.

Three cameras, cabling and security software have been installed at Bellshill and Mossend YMCA by 10 second year students from the College’s Modern Apprenticeship programme in Electronic Fire and Security Systems.

The new system – donated by market leading companies Boston Networks, Axis Communications and Brand-Rex – will give peace of mind to over 200 users and staff of the organisation sited in Bellshill’s Main Street.

This was the second phase of New College Lanarkshire’s Project Innovation – an important partnership initiative to upgrade the YMCA building while giving technical and crafts trades students the opportunity to sharpen their skills in a real life setting.

A group of Construction students have already refurbished a drop-in clinic at the YMCA premises, while full-time Welding and Fabrication students will soon complete the third and final stage of the project by repairing a security fence around the building’s perimeter.

The Electronic Fire and Security Systems Modern Apprentices carried out their work under supervision of College staff while on a day-release session – normally held once-a-week at the Motherwell campus as part of their three-year training programme.

New College Lanarkshire is the largest provider of training awards in electronics security systems in Scotland, with more than 100 students at any one time.

Essential support for this high-tech phase of Project Innovation was spearheaded by leading UK wireless systems developers, Glasgow-based Boston Networks. The company has several apprentices doing SVQs at New College Lanarkshire and four more scheduled to start studies in September 2016.

After hearing about the initiative from David Scott, College Innovation Lecturer and Project Leader, Boston Networks contacted technology partners, international network video giants Axis Communications and Glenrothes-based cabling firm Brand-Rex.

Axis Communications donated the IP (internet protocol) cameras which require only one network cable to power the camera and transfer the images back to a recording device. They also allow day and night functionality, which enables surveillance even in complete darkness.

Brand-Rex supplied the apprentices with the highest performance cable and connectors available to network the new CCTV system.

Audrey Schaefer of Boston Networks said:

“After learning about the project, we were keen to support as part of our community initiative scheme.

“Through the collaboration of our security team and technology partners, we were thrilled to contribute to such an excellent initiative which not only benefits an important local charity, but also offers apprentices the opportunity to gain on-the-job experience.”

Nick Platt-Higgins of Axis Communications said: 

“Boston Networks are one of the largest Axis Gold partners in Scotland with many years of experience and technical innovation. When they came to us and asked us to support New College Lanarkshire and their fantastic Project Innovation, we were more than happy to help them.

“We saw it as a great opportunity to put something back into the community and support the superb work the College do with their students. The YMCA premises were in desperate need of refurbishment and the High Definition Axis cameras will help keep the premises secure and safe for the volunteers and customers.”

New College Lanarkshire’s David Scott said:

“I would like to thank all the companies involved for their very generous input to Project Innovation.

“This has allowed students this unique work experience project, while enhancing the security of an invaluable facility in the local community.”

Modern Apprentice and former Coatbridge High School pupil Mark Hunter (23), from Bargeddie, said:

“My job was to load the CCTV software onto the computer and make sure the cameras were set up and recording properly.

“It’s been great to get the experience of working with such advanced cameras and to be able to give something to the community.”

Modern Apprentice Martin Hannaway (24), from Newarthill, did cabling work to prepare for the camera installation.

He said: “I’ve done some of this type of work on my own but it was good to work with the team and share what I know with them.  It’s a great gesture by the College and beneficial for the YMCA too.”

Modern Apprentice Andrew Langrell, (19), from Bishopbriggs, said:

“The equipment I’ve used here is more advanced that I have worked with before. We’re all got different skill bases and it’s been a great way to learn from each other too.”

Andrew, a former pupil of St Ninian’s High School, Kirkintilloch, added:

“Working for charity has also made it quite special. It’s good to give something back for a good cause.”