The College works with energy sector employers to develop future-proof skills

10:15 am September 23, 2022

Rachel Bunn, Director of Commerce, Projects and Community at East Coast College, discusses the importance of future skills.

An individual, a team or a company never wants to hear the word “fail”. If we had a crystal ball as an employer, we would want to see growth, security, and opportunity, and those are exactly the things a college wants to provide.

In today’s challenging world, we need to think outside the box to ensure we collectively address current and future skills shortages. It can be seen as a complex web of needs and wants, but education has moved away from the goal of delivering qualifications towards a more holistic model of outcomes, to ensure that all possibilities are offered to young people/adults to progress in employment or further studies.

Rachel Bunn, Business, Projects and Community Manager at East Coast College
– Credit: East Coast College

The government is piloting Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs) to meet local skills needs and ensure that young people, as well as adults, transitioning between sectors can be supported to continue their learning and employment.

A key aspect is to put employers at the heart of post-16 skills. The college works with certification bodies to provide training and qualifications; however, we know that the energy sector changes daily. It is therefore essential that training providers work with local and regional employers to support the additionality of the learning experience.

The college is part of an exciting ESF project to co-design the New Anglia Technical Curriculum, which supports a member of staff to work with employers to test and challenge delivery content, as well as to shaping new sessions and opportunities for students to connect with industry and raise aspirations. The impact of the pandemic on career aspirations and STEM activities has never been more critical. We are in a position where career choices are made without knowledge or understanding.

What should not be forgotten either is the wealth of current skills within other sectors, or still unknown within the sector. The UK economy and jobs market have changed since lockdown and will continue to see change, growth and innovation. In the East, there has never been such a great opportunity to consider a career in the energy sector, with the agreement of Sizewell C as well as the growth of offshore wind, solar and domestic clean energy.

We should also not forget the portability of adult skills. The college is working with the ECITB on a transition for armed forces leavers as well as a program for new entrants to accelerate progression into defined professional roles.

There will always be the challenge of recruitment and retention, but we must be open to opportunities and possibilities. Think about sharing staff between sectors and companies when there are critical and low points with the job, mobilizing apprentices between employers or sharing experienced staff with seconded training providers.

If you are serious about social values ​​and future skills, and want to be part of innovative ways to rethink skills and recruitment, contact East Coast College – [email protected]

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