How ERR are Transforming Learning to Tackle the UK Skills Shortage
ERR took two golds for Best Simulation or Virtual Environment and Best E-learning Project – Private Sector, as well as a collection of silver and bronze trophies for Team of the Year and Best Blended Learning. In this case study, we explore how they did it and what we can learn from them.
ERR (Engineering Real Results) are market leaders in vocational education, training over 6,000 students each year in a variety of trade skills. They are known for providing high quality training, leading to nationally recognised qualifications. Their student base is apprentices and adult returnees.
Analysis by the Royal Academy of Engineering suggests Britain will need more than a million new engineers and technicians by 2020 – which will require double the current number of annual engineering graduates and apprentices. Without them, any chance of riding on the coat-tails of an infrastructure-led economic revival appears to be wishful thinking. In the UK, it is clear that we have a real skills shortage within the building and construction industry.
Despite the clear job opportunities there are significant challenges to providing the practice opportunities these individuals need to become fully qualified. Increasing the number of qualified individuals in the field is tougher than it looks.
Many individuals are looking to retrain for the construction industry. They are often working full time, or have family commitments and needed a training programme that was flexible and accessible.
ERR designed a blended learning programme consisting of six key elements:
1. Home-based training
2. Tutor marked assessments
3. Hands-on practical workshops
4. Vocational Virtual Reality (VVR) training
5. Onsite assessments
6. An estimate and quote application
Research with individuals after they completed the programme showed that 98% of the students who achieved their qualification using this method secured employment within 6 weeks of qualifying. 54% of those people had the confidence to become self-employed.
ERR combined the power of virtual reality training using their games platform with strong construction industry knowledge, to create products that have revolutionised the way that vocational training is delivered. As a result, they have helped to create employment for many hundreds of people who would otherwise have been left with part of a qualification.
This has to be good news for the individuals and good news for the sector!
Download the full case study below which includes 6 questions to consider when harnessing technology to build tangible skills. Case study written by Laura Overton, as part of the good practice partnership between Towards Maturity and the Learning Technologies eLearning Awards.
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