Outstanding Teaching Learning & Assessment FOR MANAGERS IN ENGINEERING & CONSTRUCTION

Project Background

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

Participants learning as part of the programme

New technology is everywhere and changing the worlds of Engineering and Construction. Our participants had input from Wilmott Dixon and DMG Mori showing them how technology in their sectors was advancing.

Session 2 - New technologies

Session 3 - Building capacity & responsiveness

Our managers discussed NEEDS, WANTS and EXPECTATIONS to help clarify ways forward and consistent standards of practice.

View how Harlow College have approached "What employers want?"

How our Industry partners work to provide support.

Session 4 - Curriculum Change & Innovation

Participants visited PROCAT in Essex to find out about Digital Innovation and their work on Virtual/Augmented Reality.

Managers got the chance to experience the virtual house and test out their skills.

Session 5 - Problem Based Learning

Derby College shared their OTLA experience with managers focusing on problem based learning.

Employer Consultative Support

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

Session 6 - Recording and sharing outcomes

Shane Steward from Colchester Institute used his Padlet Wall to record his learning and disseminate content amongst his team.

Each sessions was evaluated and feedback recorded throughout.

Impact and dissemination


Thank you to employers who supported the project: The Manchester Airport Group, London Stansted Airport, BTL Precision Ltd, John Tennison, FlaktWoods, Project Skills Solutions, Alfa Powder Coatings, Steelcraft UK Ltd, Ford UK, NICEIC, Honeywell and Kane, Walpole Construction Ltd, Richardson Installations, Safeguard SVP Ltd, Vero Software, Clear Structures, Halfords Auto Centres, HL Display Ltd, AJS Painters and Decorators. Particular thanks to Wilmott Dixon, DMG Mori and BTL Precision who delivered part of the CPD programme.

Thank you to our participating colleges: Chelmsford College, Colchester Institute, Epping Forest College, PROCAT, SEEVIC College, South Essex College, Hertford Regional College and CONEL.

The OTLA project was led by Harlow College, Velizy Avenue, Harlow, Essex, CM20 3EZ

This project was funded by the Association of Colleges on behalf of the Education and Training Foundation.

Particular thanks to Carol Anson-Higgs from the Federation of Essex Colleges.

Created By
Karen Spencer

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