Cath Ferrie, Director of Curriculum - Support & Development and Kevin Murphy, Director of Learning and Teaching from Angus College presented this seminar on partnership working between Angus College and Angus Council.
Cath explained that 8 schools were involved in the partnership and a variety of programmes were covered, for example, Highers, Skills for Work and community programmes. She also detailed how Vocational Learning Centres (VLCs) have proved very successful with regard to student motivation. Cath noted that such is the success of partnership working, the college has had difficulty in meeting the demand for places. Key to the success was the promotion of open days, taster days, competitions, placements and demonstrations which had proved to be very popular with parents, employers, deliverers and students.
Delegates were also given details of how the school/college partnership agreement operates and how it is important that it is signed by and committed to by the Director of Education, College Principal and Head Teachers.
Before Cath handed over to Kevin, she highlighted the future possibilities and plans with regard to school and college staff working together.
Kevin focussed on how employer engagement is taking place in the areas, specifically relating to construction, technology and engineering. He explained that there were a variety of issues facing industry including:
- ageing workforce
- skills gap
- re-training and up-skilling
- do current qualifications meet the needs of industry?
Kevin then provided examples of 2 employers who have been actively engaged in working with Angus College. Both college and employer benefit from this partnership working:
- actively market college courses
- CPD opportunities
- up to date input into curriculum design
- donations of materials
- real engagement with employers
- investing in future employees
- input into shaping curriculum to meet company/industry needs
- addressing skills gaps - skills shortages
- want to be involved.