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Engineers targeted by new recruitment drive to become FE tutors
Article Type: University and research news From: Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, Volume 80, Issue 3.
A new initiative entitled “Pass on your skills” was recently launched by Lifelong Learning UK aimed at encouraging engineers to pass on their experience and expertise to others by becoming a teacher, tutor or trainer in the Further Education (FE) sector.
The campaign addresses the skills shortage within the UK's engineering sector, identified in the report “Bridging the Skills Gap” published to mark the launch of the initiative. According to the report, 20,000 jobs within the engineering sector remain unfulfilled, and 71 per cent of companies face problems hiring experienced staff.
The “Pass on your skills” initiative aims to help address the issue by offering a number of free courses to professionals in two of the UK's industries which are suffering from a skills shortage. The Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) courses, which will be available for professionals in the engineering and health and social care industries, will be commencing in the spring. PTLLS is an initial award, which all new entrants to teaching in the learning and skills sector will have to complete before they can teach without mentoring and support from a qualified person. It is designed to support those embarking on teaching careers within the learning and skills sector and will form the early part of the initial teacher training programme leading to either associate teacher learning and skills status or qualified teacher learning and skills status.
The drive to engage professionals in the engineering sector follows on from a successful pilot scheme which recruited and trained construction professionals to teach in the FE sector. The response was enormously successful with around 4,500 applicants requesting further information about the scheme.
Saskia Coplans, project manager for “Pass on your skills” said, “Many professionals in the engineering sector have a huge wealth of experience and expertise which could be used help to train the workforce of the future. The PTTLS courses are designed to help professionals learn how to pass on their skills by developing teaching skills and confidence.
“Engineering professionals have a lot to gain by becoming a teacher, tutor or trainer in the FE sector, and because their expertise is in demand, they can choose whether to get involved full time or even just a couple of hours a week. We are encouraging as many people as possible to sign up and discover a new and rewarding way to use their practical experience and ensure there's a new generation of professionals who really know what they're doing.”
Dr John Morton, chief executive of The Engineering and Technology Board added, “The Engineering and Technology Board (ETB) recognises the need to address skills shortages and gaps as part of its strategic aim of improving the supply of engineers. It is important that the perception of engineers, engineering and technology is improved in order to make the sector a more attractive place in which to build a career. Supporting further education activities and initiatives will play a key role in making this happen.”