Applications for the 2023 bursaries of the Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm (PFOWF) Education and Training Fund are now open – closing on Friday 31 March.
The Fund, which is administered through independent grant making charity Foundation Scotland, provides school leavers from Thurso and Farr High Schools with financial support as they pursue their further and higher education studies in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) subjects.
Richard Copeland, Project Director said: “Moving to college or university is a transformational experience as young people traverse new challenges for the first time. We’re proud to announce the second year of the project’s Education and Training Fund, providing vital support as they navigate this transition.
“The initiative demonstrates our commitment to supporting young people in the area as they progress their studies targeting careers in STEM-related industries. Inspiring the younger generation to continue their education is crucial to ensuring Scotland’s future STEM skills needs are met, and equipping students with the support they need to do this confidently is of utmost importance.”
Last year, three students each received £1,000 to support them with their first year of university.
Fern Mackay graduated from Thurso High School, going on to study a Master of Physiotherapy at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. She found the bursary from the PFOWF Education and Training Fund particularly helpful in her first few months away from home: “Living so far away means it’s not easy to return home at weekends so most of my time has been spent in Edinburgh. With the rising cost of everything, having this grant has meant I’ve been able to enjoy my time as it’s helped me out with my food and accommodation bills.”
Graduating from Farr High School, Heather McKay is currently studying mechanical engineering at the University of Glasgow. Commenting on the bursary she said: “I’ve found the bursary to be a huge help so far – just having that extra bit of money has meant I can easily attend social events within the university without having to worry about the cost. I also used the bursary to pay my fees to join sports associations and individual sports clubs.”
Rachel May graduated from Thurso High School, going on to study accounting and finance at the University of Glasgow. She said: “In my degree, for the first semester, I’ve completed three modules and received straight As in all required exams. The bursary has allowed me to focus on my time studying by not stressing over finances. It’s also allowed me to sign up for opportunities within the university and cut back my work hours giving me more time to study.”
Also from Thurso High School, Fern Mackay is studying a Master of Physiotherapy at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. She found the bursary from the PFOWF Education and Training Fund particularly helpful in her first few months away from home: “Living so far away means it’s not easy to return home at weekends, so most of my time has been spent in Edinburgh. With the rising cost of living, this grant has allowed me to enjoy my time by helping with my food and accommodation bills.”
Guidance notes and information on how to apply to the Fund is online, here.
When in operation, the Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm is estimated to provide enough green energy for almost 70,000 homes per year approximately 65% of those in the Highland Council area. The project’s Education and Training Fund will be complemented by a Community Benefit Fund to support local climate smart initiatives, which once the wind farm is operational.
Recently, the Highland Council’s North Planning committee did not object to the project’s offshore consent application as part of Marine Scotland’s consultation process. The project’s onshore application will be heard by Councillors in January 2023.