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Getting ready for the specialised engineering diplomas: work placements for the 14 to 16 age phase

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posted on 2008-05-02, 14:30 authored by Tim Lewis, Gary Drabble
In the UK there is considerable activity at national level in developing the interface between school and training for employment. The intention is to introduce new Specialised Diploma courses into schools starting in 2008. Early in the planning it became clear that several diplomas offer opportunities for design and technology (D&T) in schools. A key feature of these diplomas is that the structure consists of learning lines comprising of several subjects coming together for the delivery in schools. However, a significant feature is the integration of work placement into the student learning experience. Sheffield Children and Young People Directorate (CYPD) has a strong commitment to ensuring diplomas are implemented successfully in schools therefore this research was undertaken to assess both the provision and opportunities for work placement in the 14 to 16 age phase. The research focused on commercial providers of education and training. Motor trade training was selected as an industry with the potential to contribute to the emerging specialised engineering diploma (www.engineeringdiploma.com/). The research consisted of: • a review of current qualifications for all aspects of the motor trades industry including those provided by the Institute of the Motor Industry; • semi-structured interviews, using Wiersma's (2000) methodology, with motor trade commercial training and further education (FE) providers; • observation and informal interviews with a group of Year 10 students on a motor trades work placement; • informal interviews with teachers and tutors responsible for the above group. The research outcomes identify issues concerning the provision of work placement within diplomas and particularly how it is integrated into the learning experience. Additionally there are implications for subject teaching of D&T, science and mathematics to ensure that students are prepared prior to work placement. The conclusion identifies examples of good practice but also raises issues about organisation and capacity. While this research concerned engineering the implications and issues are likely to be similar for other diplomas currently being prepared such as Manufacturing, Construction and the Built Environment and Hospitality and Catering.



  • Design

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  • D&T Association Conference Series


LEWIS,T.and DRABBLE,G.,2007. Getting ready for the specialised engineering diplomas: work placements for the 14 to 16 age phase. IN: Norman, W.W.L. and Spendlove, D. (eds.). The Design and Technology Association International Research Conference 2007, University of Wolverhampton, Telford Campus, 4,5,6 July. Wellesbourne : The Design and Technology Association, pp. 49-56



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