Workforce: Research to Build Good Quality Students

Article excerpt

Staff from Built Environment Education Development Services, at the faculty of the built environment at the University of Central England, have successfully completed a piece of major research, aimed at improving the quality of education and the employability and technical competence of construction graduates.

Working with the Construction Industry Council, and supported by Cambridge Professional Developments, Prime Research and the national awarding body EdExcel, the researchers have used national occupational standards and specifications of competence in the workplace, to develop guidance and analytical tools.

They help with the design and delivery of vocational courses in construction subjects which in turn affect the quality of graduates.

The project has developed a series of methodologies for identifying, categorising and prioritising strands of key skills, knowledge and understanding.

The result is an improved transparency between the skills and strands of knowledge and understanding taught within further and higher education institutions and those taught or developed in the workplace.

Analytical tools produced include the career signposting machine which can match and individuals skills, experience and interest to the most appropriate construction career. Teaching aids include the Professional Experience Unit which aims to quantify and better assess the extensive personal and professional development which a student experiences on a work placement. …