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On 25 March we welcomed our new director to DYW Glasgow – Nicola Crawford.  With 18 years of experience in the education sector under her belt, and a born and bred Glaswegian, we are incredibly excited – and lucky - to have her on board.  

You will no doubt be hearing lots from Nicola over the months ahead, but we wanted to take the opportunity via our blog to ask her a few questions, and share her answers with you.

Q - Nicola, welcome to the team. Can you start by telling us about your career journey so far?

A – Thank you, it is really great to be here.  I came to DYW Glasgow from the City of Glasgow College, where I had been Faculty Director for nautical studies for the last four years.  My career at the college goes back a long way – I actually started out as a lecturer in IT at the former Central College of Commerce when I was doing my PhD in Chemistry.  That was nearly 20 years ago!  I loved lecturing from the get-go - working with people who were eager to learn was a very natural path for me.  From there I went on to become a senior lecturer in computing, leading on the design and implementation of a number of award-winning courses specifically creating pathways for all. After the merger of the three colleges I became a senior lecturer in Maths within the nautical faculty.  That was my first taste of the nautical industry at the college and it all carried on from there.  When I was appointed Faculty Director four years ago, I was the first female non-seafarer to lead a nautical college in the UK – it has been an interesting journey.

Q – What are your thoughts about our current education system?

A –  Our education system offers many different pathways in which every young person has the opportunity to reach their full potential. One of the key shifts I have seen over the last few years is through engagement with Industry and the offer of  real work-based learning opportunities in particular the growth of our Foundation and Graduate Apprenticeships.  I feel we are in the middle of a very exciting shift.

Q – What gets you up and out of the house in the morning?

A – People! While my formal studies were mostly with analytical scientific subjects and computers, I knew all along that my career had to be much more social.  I find it fascinating to work out what makes people tick. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing people make the most of themselves, particularly in difficult circumstances. Being part of that process brings a huge amount of job satisfaction

Q – It is still early days, but what do you think a ‘typical’ working day will look like for you in your new role?

A – Lots of interaction! Joining forces with employers, parents, young people and the education sector to get the wheels moving for them as they embark on their career paths.  I will also be working closely with the other regional DYW teams to share experiences and take forward any new initiatives 

Q – What are you looking forward to most?

A -  I’m really excited about the role and looking forward to enhancing the DYW Glasgow programme further.  I am also really looking forward to leading the DYW Glasgow team who are already working incredibly hard and delivering many successful projects with schools and employers across the city.

Q – What advice would you offer to your teenage self?

A – Trust your gut.  Never lose sight of your dreams.

Q – What do you do to relax after a busy day?

A – I spend time with my family – I have three daughters aged 9, 12 and 23 who keep me very busy - partially as a taxi service! We also recently welcomed a new addition to our family in the form of Theo – a seven month old golden retriever.  Walking him is one of the best parts of the day and a great way to unwind.