A GROUP of students are getting into top gear by learning how to build a car.

Newlands Junior College students are taking part in a project aimed at teaching them valuable enterprise skills.

Proj-X will see a group of students spend one evening every two weeks working alongside automotive engineers from GTG Training, part of the Arnold Clark Group and a partner/sponsor of Newlands Junior College.

During each three-hour evening session GTG’s staff will take the students through every aspect of the motor trade business. To ensure the process is as realistic as possible, college depute principal Phillip Graham has donated his own 15 year old Toyota Celica for students’ first project.

Over the coming weeks the group will work with GTG’s technicians at the training centre’s South Street base to repair and restore the car in order to prepare it for sale.

The group will then look at various ways to get the best return possible from the sale of the car, including placing ads on Gumtree and comparing auction prices.

Any money made from the sale will then be used to buy another car for the next Proj-X programme.

Jim McColl, chairman of the board of trustees at Newlands Junior College, said: “I think Proj-X is a fantastic idea and its appeal is evident in the fact the students are giving up their own time each evening to take part.

“I’ve always loved working with cars myself and it’s something I continue to do today.

"When I started as an apprentice engineer the first thing I did was buy a second-hand car and fixed it up in my spare time.

“The students involved in this project are very fortunate to have the automotive technicians from GTG Training on hand to guide them and offer practical help and advice.

"Everyone at Newlands Junior College is grateful for the time and effort put in by the staff at GTG Training to support this project.

“I’ll be keeping a keen eye on Proj-X to see how the students get on transforming Philip’s car, and more importantly I’ll be interested to find out how the car sale goes.”

Newlands Junior College delivers a new form of education involving alternative programs, aimed at youngsters aged 14 to 16 years old who find the current secondary school system does not suit their learning style or goals.

Each year, the college is recruiting 30 students from local schools and putting them through an alternative approach to their education in years S3 and S4 which, in addition to academic subjects, will combine vocational and motivational training with sports, nutrition and outdoor activities.

As a result, the college’s approach increases the enthusiasm, skills and confidence of students, greatly enhancing their ability to make the successful transition beyond school to reach their full potential.

For more information about Newlands Junior College visit: www.newlandsjuniorcollege.org.uk