MODNet Launch – a cutting edge Work Based Learning network

by | Sep 23, 2009 | Articles

We were very pleased to be amongst representatives of over 200 business, public and voluntary organisations who were present at the employer launch of MODNet, the Middlesex organisational Development Network (Thursday 17 September) hosted by the Institute of Work Based Learning at the Middlesex University.

Middlesex are amongst the pioneers of Work Based Learning (WBL)at HE level and since 2005 has been a nationally recognised centre of excellence. WBL has been defined as; “A modern way of creating university-level learning in the workplace”. It offers customised learning programmes tailored to the specific needs of the organisation, designed to be flexible and high standard. The programmes are modular, part-time study, and focused on real work based projects designed to offer maximum benefit to the organisation. This approach to integrating qualifications with real work requirements has the potential to address important higher level skills in the work place whilst minimising the disruption to important day to day running of the business. So we were interested in finding out more!

MODNet is an interesting partnership of learning providers from across private and funded sectors looking to extend this approach to WBL by providing specialist learning and training programmes which complement employee’s existing skills and knowledge, helping employers develop expertise within their workforce.

This ranges from small chunks of just-in-time learning to long term strategic partnerships.
Lord Sebastian Coe was the keynote speaker. He emphasised the holistic approach that MODNet can provide, stressing the importance of blending previous experience and new learning disciplines, pointing out that: “You cling to the experiences you have had in the workplace when you change career.”

Bruce Dickinson, rock musician and Director of the Brighton Institute of Modern Music gave a great example of this process in action when he spoke of his experiences following a WBL programme at Middlesex. Bruce gained an MA in Educational Management and states that: ‘Middlesex’s unique approach to WBL  supported me by recognising that my past achievements had value and putting me on an appropriate level of programme.    …I was supported to achieve this whilst working full time in a demanding job, and around family commitments.’

He is now a keen advocate of this method of learning, saying that: ‘WBL is my first choice when looking at professional training for industry based professionals.’ ( you can find out more about the impact of this process on Bruce’s career and business by clicking here)

MODNet also offer accredited training, research and consultancy services, including the ability to accredit existing in-house training and extend its impact through customised work-based projects.
In 2008 the IWBL issued this statement: “Rather than expressing frustration over management and individual capabilities, business leaders must implement effective learning and development programmes, and performance management tools to enable them to enhance their performance.”
MODNet provides employers with a successful method of achieving these aims.

For more information about MODNet visit www.mdx.ac.uk/wbl

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