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Colleges must involve industry, says skills body

CITB-ConstructionSkills has told University Technical Colleges to put employer involvement at their centre of their courses.

In a report, ‘Construction and the Built Environment – How University Technical Colleges can deliver best practice’, produced alongside the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, the skills body also suggests ways colleges can incorporate existing qualifications such as GCSEs.

CITB-ConstructionSkills said the report would help UTCs produce and deliver robust and relevant construction curriculums that are “highly regarded by the construction industry”.

According to the report, the ‘respected’ qualifications, which UTCs are being encouraged to take into consideration when developing their core programmes, are highly regarded because of their core content and the likelihood that they will lead to subsequent employment or further study.

UTCs are encouraged to look at qualifications such as the Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment as a good example of effective employer involvement.

 Detailed advice is also provided for the new colleges on the overall design principles of all programmes and the proposed learning outcomes for qualifications delivered at Levels 1, 2 and 3.

Nick Gooderson, CITB-ConstructionSkills head of education and research said he hoped the report would help forge closer relationships with some of the colleges.

He said: “while the ultimate decisions on which construction qualifications UTCs use rests entirely with the college Principals and senior teams, we are keen to work closely with them and help them by providing as much information and insight into the current offerings and what is working well.

“This report is the first formal offering in what will be an ongoing and open discussion between education providers and industry on how to provide relevant and quality qualifications that meet the needs of industry and learners.

“As the Sector Skills Council and Industry Training Board we are working with employers to help secure a steady pipeline of top talent into the industry and do all we can to ensure that the entrants coming into the industry are equipped with the skills to meet the future needs of an ever changing industry.”

The report’s findings and guidance are based on a combination of research on existing qualifications and consultation with around 80 respondents from industry and education.

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