Week 22: Careers Pathway

19/03/2018

Learning Objectives:
1. Investigate and compare the different training pathways available at Post 16. UET 3, 4 & 12
2. Describe and analyse the aims and key qualifications in your own specialist area. UET 3, 4 & 12
3. Analyse the causes and impact of noise on the inclusive learning environment.

Challenge target: Recommend appropriate strategies to deal with disruptive noise in the classroom.

This was to be a short session, as it was parents evening for the lecturers who work at the college, myself included.

Embedding English & Maths
To strengthen and develop the ways in which we embed english and maths into our lessons, each member of the group gave an example within their specialism. To evidence our development and to provide a useful resource, we are to create a ‘Maths Matters’ and ‘English Matters’ toolkit, which we can add to over the course. Based upon lesson plan structures and curriculum guidelines, we are supposed to purposefully embed these topics into each lesson; this is not practical for every lesson, however, if you start to deconstruct each lesson, you may well find that you are already covering these topics without knowing. My examples were as follows:

Maths: During magazine spread designs we investigate percentages and compositional weighting; so measuring and converting areas and spaces is essential.

English: When typography is examined, we look into all the various grammar symbols, we discuss their use and importance within language.

Careers Pathways Advice
To continue from our homework exercise, we were to examine the Lord Sainsbury Post 16 Report, in particular the flowchart on page 15 that illustrates how the academic and technical pathways work. Then in pairs we were asked to discuss and comment upon the following:
1) Identify the key aim and background of the report
2) Analyse the two different pathways and place your qualification accordingly

1) Hailed as the “the most significant transformation of post-16 education since A levels were introduced some 70 years ago”; the reports primary aim was to simplify the current technical pathways, by providing 15 clear different routes, in which the standards were drawn up, under advisement from industry employers. It allows students, upon completion of their GCSE’s to choose either an academic or technical pathway; an important element of this, is that each program will strengthen the common core of English, Maths and Digital Skills. The partnership between academic and technical has been developed; where for years, studetns would attend college on a day release program and typically only attain a Level 3 qualification. Now there is to be focus on bridging the higher-level skills gaps, where studetns can take their academic training up to Level 6, thus completing a degree apprenticeship.

2) The report states that there are 15 new technical pathways, in which there is emphasis on specific sectors that will bolster the economy; these include careers, such as Engineering & Manufacturing, Construction, Business and Administrative. Now whilst the arts are listed, the example job roles are quite technical based. With some creative arts disciplines, an academic route, will yield a better understanding into visual language and communication; however, obtaining a BA (Hons) in a visual arts subject, will not always guarantee a job. Examining my disciplines, I would place them on an academic pathway; 2.3, ‘The diagram does not show every possible way in which an individual might move through the system…’, this is true within the arts, as there are other non-accredited routes in education and training. For example, a photography student may pursue an assisting route with an established photographer, where they may acquire key skills, in both the technical and administrative side of being a self-employed creative. 

Apprenticeship Woes
During our discussion, I raised the topic of recent business closures; in our current economic climate, established companies can not provide the security that they once could. A recent case study, would be Carillion, where on the 15th of January 2018, they announced their immediate liquidation; this has had a devastating effect, not just for all the primary employees, but for all of the paid apprentices. Other companies/organisations, such as CITB have managed to take on a number of ex-Carillion apprentices; yet still, there are many still currently out of work. See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-42867722

To conclude, there is only certainty in the uncertain; no matter what education and/or training pathway is pursued and at what level, there are no guarantees of employment.

Parents Evening
My schedule was light, having already spoken to two learners parents over the phone, I was only expecting one more; however, I did provide support and guidance to two other parents from another tutors group. Firstly, my personal view on parents evening, specifically for final year learners, where there is an optional booking system, is that it is a pointless exercise. The parents that do attend, are only interested in you confirming how good their child is, which they already know; then for the learners, that would benefit from additional parental reinforcement, their parents are not interested in attending. Coupled with the fact, that final year learners have already secured their chosen pathway.

Now putting my views aside; this event can provide an ideal opportunity to discuss with the parents the possible pathways and options for their child. I have noticed that a deciding factor, when choosing pathways, is finances; any UK based student, wishing to attend university, will have to take a base, £27k loan to pay for the tuition fees. Now whilst the interest is low and repayments are based upon earnings, this is still a huge financial commitment. The key is with the language, it should be referred to as a ‘debt’, it is an ‘investment’; this initial outlay, coupled with a willingness to learn and develop could potentially lead to a rewarding and prosperous career path.

One of the parents I spoke to over the phone, was interested in their child’s development; thay had noticed how more engaged and positive they were with their studies and wanted to discuss their progress further. I reassured them, that their child was developing well and that their predicted grade is a merit, they were pleased with this and thanked me for my influence and guidance.

The parents from the other tutor group that I did speak to, the primary topic of conversation was their child’s current project work; it seems that some learners do not reveal their work to their parents. A point of concern was raised, where the current L3 Y2 learners experienced a shaky start to staffing disruptions; I assured them, that this was a ‘blip’ and that their child’s teaching will be consistent with the current pool of lecturers.

Homework:
• Prepare for a Careers Advice event (UET12) next week on a rota.

• Plan a demonstration of a resource to support learning for 16th April (UET15, UET12)

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