We hosted a best practice exchange with international experts and educators to transfer global best practice and champion higher quality training standards within the UK.
In the UK, awarding bodies are not linking up with Industry on an ongoing basis which is creating some skill gaps. In teaching, we have moved into large format tiles which isn’t first and foremost a requirement of industry. This is just one example where the delivery model in TVET is different to the requirements of Industry. When we deliver qualifications to learners they need to align more closely to those in industry.
WS Brazil expert, Patricia mentions critical thinking, I.E. the capacity to identify and analyse problems, in order to develop and execute solutions based on the context and facts. Other soft skills are essential such as adaptability, communication, problem solving and time management. Perseverance, motivation and working under pressure are all critical to a tiler. All of these attributes are referenced in the WorldSkills Occupational Standards for this skill. These soft skills / personal attributes are what employers are really looking for. They are all key to having a successful career.
Paul ensures his students receive a full review and reflection process. In a training environment we can identify materials that enable learners to make mistakes in the workshop. As a finish trade the work has to be correct and finished to the required standard so learners need to be able to make mistakes when training but equally as important is understanding where those mistakes were made and rectifying them accordingly. Chris asked Paul about using competitions as a tool to raising standards of learners and Paul says there is a direct link to this as competitions ensure learners are required to develop all of those technical and soft skills / attributes that are required for industry.
Paul says that employers are aware of the competency levels of his learners as they are all trained towards the WorldSkills standard and this has generated an excellent relationship between the educator and employer.
In Denmark, Industry is a key driver in their TVET system which means their curriculum remains current. Danish students are assessed by industry professionals and not just their lecturers. Students are held back until they are able to complete their work to the required standard. In Switzerland they use a university model where they have a vocational education centre with a halls of residence attached where they can train constantly and similar to Denmark, it is industry representatives who come in and assess the students work.
The UK needs more industry members involved in the end point assessment stage and not just lecturers. If we could have trade associations, educators and industry working more closely together we would be a lot better off. Trends are changing, materials are changing, but we are still working with an outdated curriculum. The WorldSkills Occupational standards are reviewed every two years which means international competitors are always training towards the current needs of a tiler.
In Columbia, TVET works hand in hand with industry, it participates in the description of the competences that are part of the vocational training programme, therefore enabling a well-rounded and appropriate qualification for students.
If we look at the WSOS for Wall & Floor it goes further than any current qualification as it incorporates more advanced technical and keys skills that can be applied and are evaluated in skill competitions which, in turn, corresponds to producing higher quality tilers who are ready for industry.
Competitors were tasked with completing an adapted version of the 2019 WorldSkills Kazan Test Project.
“It was great to get back to competing with other nations which is incredibly important for my squad members”
“It was the first time in over a year I was able to train (face to face) with my team mate Dylan and Training Manager Paul so it was very nerve racking competing against the other competitors but I really enjoyed the experience”