Meta skills in focus as NESCol joins forces with Aberdeen schools

The NESCol team at the CDN College Awards.

A UNIQUE collaboration between North East Scotland College (NESCol) and Aberdeen City Council is helping to bring vital skills to life for thousands of secondary pupils.

The pioneering initiative, which recently won recognition on the national stage, has the potential to be replicated nationally.

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The project was born from the ambition of the partners to build understanding of meta skills among thousands of pupils across the city.

Meta skills are defined by Skills Development Scotland as clusters of behavioural skills, rather than competency-based knowledge or experience.

The Council served as the ‘live client’ for NESCol 3D Computer Animation students, with a brief to create engaging and informative content that could be rolled out across all 11 local authority secondary schools in Aberdeen.

In turn students embarked on an interdisciplinary collaboration within the College, calling upon the talents of peers in subjects including music and drama to complete elements of the production.

Tony Young, Curriculum Manager for Performing Arts and 3D Animation at NESCol, said: “In working to deliver the message about the importance of meta skills to the target audience, our students were able to build their own abilities across a range of key areas.

“The project provided real-world experience and opportunities to enhance problem-solving, communication, digital, teamwork, adaptable thinking and employability skills.

“The quality of the work produced during the first year of the project has been recognised by external verifiers and employers. It has also been highlighted by Education Scotland as an exemplar of highly effective practice as well as becoming an award winner on the national stage.

“We’re very proud of the students and their work – and equally proud of the close working relationships with Aberdeen City Council and the city’s schools which have driven this initiative forward.”

The project was crowned winner of the Skills Development category at the CDN College Awards 2023. The ceremony was held in Glasgow in November and is the Scottish college sector’s most prestigious event.

Councillor Martin Greig, convener of Aberdeen City Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee, said: “This award-winning project is a further example of the positive working relationship between Aberdeen City Council and North East Scotland College. 

“Our partnership with NESCol on meta skills is really helping to expand the range of options available to pupils in city schools. Cooperating with the college is helping us to improve educational and training choices for young people.”

NESCol is one of the largest providers of vocational education and training in Scotland, delivering to more than 20,000 full-time, part-time and distance learning students each year. The College operates from its main Aberdeen Altens, Aberdeen City and Fraserburgh campuses as well as the Scottish Maritime Academy in Peterhead. For further information visit .

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