Saudi Arabias First Women Only College

The North East Surrey College of Technology (NESCOT) has secured an international contract to run the first women-only vocational training institute in Saudi Arabia.

Sunaina Mann OBE, Principal at NESCOT commented, “We are passionate about this opportunity as it will provide women across the city of Jeddah with the chance to gain vocational qualifications that will help them secure their rightful place within the Saudi workforce.”

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ILO Warns of the Global Unemployment Challenge

Following the UN agency’s annual labour market report the International Labour Organisation have expressed concern over the rising risks, as unemployment becomes “a major global challenge for years to come".

Read full article on the Guardian >

Labour Market a 'Battleground' for Jobseekers

Recent labour market forecasts predict continued employment growth in Q2 of 2013.employment battleground

Despite this positive outlook, the survey shows that there are 45 applicants for every low skilled job. The labour market is still very competitive especially for those with less experience, skills or qualifications.

Jobseekers will need look to training providers and FE colleges to arm them with the skills they need to get an upper hand in this employment 'battleground'.

Find out more >

Tor Macleod 10:53

An Agile and Responsive Curriculum For Colleges

supporting agile deliveryLast year the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) asked the learning and skills sector to open up a strategic dialogue to discuss their key issues.

In response the 157 Group have examined the challenges colleges faced in aligning their curriculum to business objectives, wholesale curriculum redesign and responding to employer, learner and labour market demands.

Individual projects carried out by Derby College, Hull College, Liverpool Community College, New College Nottingham, Sunderland College and the Sussex Downs College and York College have found several success factors in implementing swift curriculum change.

  • A learner responsive curriculum: change driven by leaner needs
  • Employer engagement: change driven by employer needs
  • Strong communication: between staff, departments and referral agents.
  • Internal structure: establish an effective, streamlined and agile system within the college

How to support a flexible delivery

" The current inflexibility suffered by many colleges dues to their inability to move quickly in response to identified needs from the communities. Colleges need to review their structures (including staff contracts and processes for planning staff utilisation) critically, and develop mechanisms that enable them to identify and respond to needs in a timely way with high-quality provision." - 157 Group

Macleod Associates Unity system (now Workpepper - Sept 2013) has already been used by colleges to tackle many of the common issues raised above; streamlining the referrals process, improving communication across departments as well as with the JCP and allowing colleges more agililty to swiftly adapt their delivery to meet changing curriculum and learner needs.

Contact us to find out more

Read the full report Curriculum redesign in further education colleges: exploring current challenges and opportunities pdf


Tor Macleod 11:45

5 Tips To Motivate Learners

5 Tips To Motivate LearnersDue to the nature of the further education and skills sector learner motivation will always be a potential barrier to skills and employability training. Here are 5 tips to improve learner motivation, attendance and course progression:

clear line of sight 1. 'A Clear Line of Sight to Work'

Knowing that there could be a real job opportunity waiting at the end of a course can do a lot to keep learners motivated. Building strong relationships with local employers, recruitment agencies and tailoring coursesin response to real vacancies can provide learners with an a target and achievable goal or job outcome.

"A clear line of sight to work is critical because vocational learners must be able to see why they are learning what they are learning"

- Its about work: Excellent Adult Vocational Teaching and Learning

streamlined booking2. Streamline The Booking Process

For the unemployed it can often feel like you are just being passed from one person to the next, answering the same questions - yet nothing is actually being done to help career progression. Being able to book learner onto a course within the first interview will do a lot to reassure them that something is being done and empower them to want to complete the course.

"It is much more satisfying for both us and the learners to be able to book a course there and then and give them their IAP. Leaners have the dates; they know the room and exactly what they are booked on. It is a much better way for them to start rather than building an action plan only to send them away to wait fot us to be in touch."

- Lin Sheppard, JobSmart Tutor, Gloucestershire College

know your learners

3. Know Your Learners

With sometimes hundreds of learners coming through the doors, how can you ensure that someone does not get lost in the system? Having an easily accessible learner records, will enable administrators and tutors to quickly offer support and answer learners queries - reassuring learners of your commitment to them and that you know who they are.

additional support4. Offer Timely Support

Every college or provider deals with a widely diverse range of learners with different needs and circumstances. Sometimes there isn't enough time for a personal tutor to be truly 'personal'. With little time for one-on-one tutorials it helps to be able to highlight learners who require additional support and ensure that they are not left behind.

keep in touch5. Keep in Touch

Setting automated reminders via text or email can helped to improve attendance as well as learner motivation. A detailed view of the learner journey can ensure learner progression by enabling early identification those who have failed to attend.

Do you have any tips for keeping learners motivated? Let us know in the comments section below.

Macleod Associates Unity system (now Workpepper - Sept 2013)  has given training providers the ability to manage and track the learner journey, identify learners for additional support, swiftly adapt courses to meet local labour needs and streamline the booking process. Contact one of our team to find out more.

Tor Macleod 12:46


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