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Sue Bennett Work-Related Learning Development Officer.

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1 Sue Bennett Work-Related Learning Development Officer

2 Northumbria University Good track record of innovative workforce learning programmes Reputation for professional and practice-based learning Nine Schools covering a diverse range of subjects Support services dedicated to improving the student experience, and assisting the Schools with their teaching processes

3 Work-based learning in a wider context Leitch Report 2006 – to review the UKs skills needs up to 2020 This generated the government response, with a greater focus on employer engagement in higher level skills One Northeasts Regional Economic Strategy which identifies skills needs on a regional level The North East has some ambitious targets to meet as a result

4 Work-based learning means …. In Higher Education, Northumbria University is referring to reflective practitioners At other levels, establishing levels of competency

5 Northumbria Universitys response Work-related Learning Services team Learning and Teaching Support staff Internal frameworks and structures to ensure a flexible response to employer demand An unusual model – the staff who are involved, work with employers and the curriculum

6 The Work-based Learning Framework One example of the internal frameworks used A generic framework, based on work, but without subject content University Schools can include the subject matter in collaboration with the employer 50% of the learning must take place in, at, or through the workplace It means programmes can be put together relatively quickly

7 Examples of work-based learning programmes MSc Professional Engineering – developed in collaboration with the Engineering Council (ECuk). Enables graduate engineers to work towards Chartered Engineer status whilst studying at work – directly maps to UKSpec. BSc (Hons) Librarianship – enables those working at para-professional level in library or information sector to gain professional qualification; recognised by CILIP (professional body).

8 More examples PG Certificate Public Sector Management – Northumberland County Council, Durham City Council, British Army, Northumbria Police, Northumberland Strategic Partnership, Gateshead Council ………… Professional Practice Awards: Northumberland Early Years and Childcare Service; Health Care Trusts etc PG Certificate Legal Advice – eaga – accredits training for staff who work in four categories of Welfare Law (welfare benefits, debt, housing and employment)

9 Challenges of work-based learning Mature workplace learners may have higher level skills and experience, but have been out of education for many years – academic versus skills levels A cohort can have a diverse range of study topics, projects, work environments, multi-levels - all of which the teaching staff have to manage coherently Uncertainties regarding employment continuity for learners

10 Challenges – cont. Workplace support for learners requires a particular skill set – mentor / coaching training? Assessment methods – work-based learning tests the traditional versus flexible model Employers generally not sympathetic to the academic year, schedules, timetables – they want it: here, now! University systems designed for the traditional model – validation and approval procedures; delivery; student records and enrolment …..

11 Next steps Supporting work-based learning stretches University resources and generates its own challenges Northumbria plans to invest in its infrastructure to expand work-based learning provision The changing economic climate and work environments will influence Northumbrias response

12 Sue Bennett Work-related Learning Development Officer (0191) 227 4447

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