Scottish businessman Lord Willie Haughey has voiced his support for practical skills and education on his old college's open day.

Gorbals-born Lord Haughey spoke out for Glasgow Kelvin College on National Opportunity Day to say his education there "set me up for life".

The founder of City Facilities Management, which employs 9,000 people across Scotland and the UK, attended Springburn College, which is now home to Kelvin’s Springburn Campus, as part of a commercial engineering apprenticeship.

Glasgow Kelvin College has registered National Opportunity Day as an official awareness day today to celebrate all the opportunities available at college through clearing.

Lord Haughey said: “The practical skills and confidence I gained at college set me up for life.

“Not only did I benefit personally, but I have seen countless employees thrive through the opportunities offered at college, where they learn the hands-on, practical skills required to take on a vast array of roles.

“National Opportunity Day will shine the brightest spotlight on the wealth of opportunities available to students through clearing, and awaken a nation to the possibilities on offer to people at all ages and stages through a practical and applicable college education.”

It comes as a study showed 82% of Scottish parents would encourage their children to train in a practical profession when they leave school, a new survey has revealed. 

The study, commissioned by Glasgow Kelvin College, comes as SQA pass rates have fallen with many students now going through the clearing process.

The study of 2,000 Scots, conducted by independent insights agency Opinion Matters, also found 70% of parents believe their children are pushed down career paths too early.

Derek Smeall, principal of Glasgow Kelvin College, said: “The window of opportunity shouldn’t close at 18, or when you didn’t get the exam grades you hoped for, or when you’ve already started one career; it’s there for you as long as you want it.”