Nigg Skills Academy

Case Studies


Rosie Neall, Nigg

Age : 28

Rosie was previously employed as a health researcher and PhD doctorate student and initially came to NSA to progress the SVQ Performing Engineering Operations 2, National Certificate level 5 (Fabrication and Welding), and level 5 core skills. 16-week full time course. Following this, Rosie returned and progressed 4f and 6g welding training and coding.

Rosie decided to come to the academy as she lives on a farm and was interested in obtaining practical skills, a radical departure from her previous life as a PhD graduate researcher. Rosie found her experience at the Academy to be very engaging and interesting, she felt that the instructors were very approachable and knowledgeable and found that everyone, regardless of gender, was treated equally the same.

Given her very positive experience at the Academy, Rosie would strongly encourage other females to follow in her footsteps.


Tom Ellis, Dornoch

Age : 16 years

Tom Ellis came into our 16 week course straight from School. He enjoyed working with engines on the family farm and also started to make Bale Spikes and selling them to farmers in and around the area.

Tom heard about the course from friends and he thought it would add to his fabricating and welding skills to allow him to move on into either an Apprenticeship or into further developing his opportunities to make things for profit. He has enjoyed both the practical side of the training within the academy and feels his skills have certainly improved. The classroom side was maybe a bit easier as he had just come out of school, but did not maybe fully appreciate the work required for this element of the course.

He would recommend the course to any young person looking to gain an insight into engineering, in particular the fabrication and welding side of things.


Emily Llewellyn, Inverness

Age: 24 years

Emily had spent her time doing short courses through colleges and working in the hospitality industry. With a leaning towards more practical work, Emily heard about another woman who had gone through the 16 week course and in calling her, found out all about the course and decided to give it a go.

Emily has no regrets in coming on to the course and although male dominated and a little bit daunting at first, has not found any issues surrounding this and really enjoyed the practical side of things, particularly the welding, where she would like to follow this through to hopefully gaining an apprenticeship with a company.

The classroom work did not phase Emily and found she received good support from both the classroom tutors and the practical instructors throughout her time within the academy.

Emily is also pleased with support received from Laura MacMillan, who is seconded to NSA from DWP, Job Centre Plus in assisting her with advice and helping in the creation of her CV to allow her to apply for employment in completion of her course.


Ian Vanzetta, Alness

Age: 47 years

Ian Vanzetta started his Electrician’s Apprenticeship in leaving school at Nigg and has worked within Nigg most of his working life. Over the curse of his wide career, Ian became a qualified NDT Inspector, worked with Hydraulics and also obtained his HND in Mechanical Engineering. He entered the academy to gain further qualifications that would provide him with a better and wide knowledge of fabrication and welding, along with providing him with a good cross section of skills he feels will give him better opportunities to find work.

He has thoroughly enjoyed his time at NSA and feels the course provides students with real life training in using the best of equipment to train people, with the best of materials which is “head and shoulders” better and could not be replicated within a college environment. Ian is confident these additional qualifications will give him the opportunity to upgrade his CV and to find work in the area.

Ian is looking to come back into the academy to complete some welder coding(s) on completion of his course with us, again to provide him with best opportunities of finding work.

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