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A clear-cut future; After being made redundant, Pamela Freedman decided to go to college - and has become a real glass act at Glasgow Met.

AS a visitor to an end-of-session exhibition of students' work, Pamela Freedman was very impressed by what she saw.

Displayed were the efforts of students at Glasgow Metropolitan College, the city's largest. And as she admired the exhibits, Pamela also realised she would love to try to emulate what was being showcased.

"I thought the exhibition was just marvellous and the students were so talented. It made me wonder if I shouldn't be thinking of doing something similar," said Pamela.

And she has, with great success, too.

For Pamela, from Newton Mearns, Glasgow is about to go in to the second year of a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Art Glass Production at The Met - and she's keenly looking forward to the new term.

A redundancy package from her job as a systems analyst hastened Pamela's decision to enrol for the course, and already it's proving to have been a wise move.

Recently, she won a gold award in the UK Skills Live Decorative Glasswork Competition against strong contenders from other UK colleges.

Fellow Met student, Scott MacMillan, also struck gold.

The competition was held over three days within the Glass Studio at the North Hanover Street Campus and visitors included staff from other UK colleges, along with representatives of the Scottish Executive and World Skills Scotland.

"I'm pleased I won, but overall I'm having a great time on the course, which is varied and interesting," said Pamela.

"It's done wonders for my confidence and I've already had commissions.

"The course includes art classes - I always thought I couldn't draw, but I can.

"Next term, one part of the course will focus on how to run your own business so, who knows, I might do that eventually."

Assistant head of division for design crafts at the college is George McNeillie.

He was commended by UK Skills and the Scottish Executive for organising and running the event - the first live one for glasswork - on behalf of World Skills Scotland.

"This competition has helped raise the profile of the college," said George.

"I'm really delighted for the students - they've worked hard and done themselves and the college proud."

The Art Glass Production courses offered at The Met cover an interesting range of subjects including sand blasting, glass fusing, lead and copper foil work, acid etching, repairs and restoration, research into stained glass, life drawing and computer-aided design.

"I would say these courses suit school leavers keen on arts and crafts, although we also attract mature students who enjoy them as a pastime," said George.

But they can lead to degree courses and employment.

Some students completing the courses also go on to be self-employed, with some based in co-operative work spaces.

The college is hosting a series of Info Days this month for those who are considering taking up study at The Met.

A number of August-start course places are still available.

Info Day dates are taking place on Wednesday from 10am to 3pm and 5pm to 7pm, Thursday from 10am to 3pm and Wednesday, August 15 from 10am to 3pm and from 5pm to 7pm.

CAPTION(S):

FUTURE'S CLEAR: Pamela won a gold award in the UK Skills Live Decorative Glasswork Competition against strong contenders from a range of UK colleges
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 8, 2007
Words:540
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