Engineering and construction are key local enterprise partnership sectors and both sectors are undergoing profound growth.
Essex alone must recruit 13,500 more engineers to fill emerging roles and those vacated by an imminently retiring workforce (source: Essex Employment & Skills Board Evidence base).
Engineering, manufacturing and construction employers report difficulties in recruiting people, locally and nationally, into jobs from entry level to highly skilled occupations. Their workforces are ageing and they need to ‘succession plan’.
At the same time as companies struggle to employ skilled people, colleges and training providers also find it difficult to recruit and retain staff with up-to-date industry skills.
Some teachers lack the relevant industry examples to bring theory to life in the classroom and managers’ report that they have no systematic way of providing up-to-date industry experience for their staff.
Historically the engineering and construction sectors are not used to examined assessment and so changes to the technical curriculum creates more of a challenge for them – for both staff and students
The post-16 Skills Plan and Industrial Strategy provide a back-drop to our project. High quality Technical Education is at the heart of the plan with a focus on developing T-level qualifications to bring parity of esteem between vocational and academic qualifications.
Session 1 - Improving student attainment
Between sessions our colleges worked with employers looking at elements of curriculum design, industrial updating and key changes in their industries.
CASE STUDY 1 "The work shadowing undertaken will contribute to the development of the department and bring up to date the knowledge required to keep delivery relevant. This process has provided me with an opportunity to observe up to date work practices that show how other motor vehicle technicians work and what their roles include. It has also helped me to gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of other roles and functions within the motor vehicle industry. Following on from this CPD opportunity, I have reported my findings back to the delivery team and as a team we are looking at options related to how the syllabus is currently being delivered to learners, so that we are able to reflect, plan and develop the current working practices. We aim to develop more inspiring teaching and learning practice. From this we can debate and review the way we plan, deliver and assess learners at all levels to ensure that they are better ready for work in the future." - K Doo, Manager Practitioner, Colchester Institute
CASE STUDY 2 "Skype conferences with a German manufacturing company (VS) will be arranged to allow students to access the global engineering picture. The College will also look into a school partnership with the British Council to further engage students with the bigger international picture of engineering." J Parker, Manager Practitioner, SEEVIC
CASE STUDY 3 "I was looking for tasks and activities that could be used with our full-time students to help prepare them for transition to employment. The Level 2 work readiness programme aims to get students ready for an apprenticeship within one year. A runway light unit and a baggage carousel have been donated to the college for all our students to practice on. The employers recognise that the more students are exposed to this equipment, the more likely they are to consider a career at the airport. Students are taught to use this equipment in the first term ready for their work experience in term two. K Nunn, Manager Practitioner