NATS Prestwick forges new partnership with the University of the West of Scotland
Leading air navigation services provider NATS is to deepen existing links with the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) after this week signing an agreement of intent with senior figures from the institution.
The University-Industry Partnership Agreement will bring collaboration across a range of projects embracing joint research and knowledge transfer activity, as well as collaborative education, placements and training programmes.
The company’s Prestwick air traffic control centre played host to UWS representatives to launch NATS’ latest community engagement initiative, paving the way for students from the university to gain valuable work experience at the hi-tech site.
Students offered work placements at NATS Prestwick, which controls air traffic over Scotland, Northern England, Northern Ireland, the North Sea, and the eastern half of the North Atlantic, will benefit from a unique opportunity to work on research and development projects that will make a real contribution to air navigation operations of the future.
NATS’ UWS placement programme will provide valuable undergraduate and postgraduate opportunities in the aerospace sector, offering candidates real-life experience in a fast-paced business environment. In return, NATS will gain access to academic expertise and research capability.
Alastair Muir, Director of NATS Prestwick, said the symbolic agreement was important as a statement of intent between NATS and UWS. He said: “NATS is committed to building strong relationships in the community and we are very excited to be taking this important new step towards a valuable and lasting working partnership with the University of the West of Scotland.
“It is important to NATS that we play our part in developing the skills that will take our industry forward and, working closely with institutions of academic excellence such as UWS and the community in general, we are confident that together we can create and maintain mutually beneficial programmes of engagement that will help the region as a whole flourish.”
Ian Clarke, External Relations and People Capability Manager at NATS Prestwick, said: “The signing of this agreement signals the start of the next phase of partnership between NATS and UWS. It formalises our intention to provide benefit to both organisations through a range of different partner activities and opportunities, from student placements to research programmes and training activities.
“NATS has consistently been impressed by the professionalism, business awareness and organisation demonstrated by the UWS team and we are pleased to be associated with this respected centre of academic excellence. This is a great opportunity for NATS to help shape the talent of the future, and our business will benefit from the fresh approach that enthusiastic UWS students can offer.”
Featured photo caption: (left to right) Professor Ehsan Mesbahi, Vice Principal & Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise) at the University of the West of Scotland and Alastair Muir, Director of NATS’ Prestwick air traffic control centre