Yesterday, I attended a regional network meeting in Coventry for the Construction and the Built Environment (CBE) Diploma. As a Diploma resource developer, it’s essential for CASCAiD to be aware of the topical issues regarding the delivering of Diploma subjects. This allows us to continue to produce products that meet the needs of Diploma practitioners.
In spite of all of the doom and gloom surrounding funding for the Diploma, and education in general, this was a really good meeting. There were many enthusiastic CBE Diploma practitioners in attendance, all of whom were keen to share their experiences of delivering best practice.
The event was held at ACT-UK Simulation Centre – a fascinating building that acts as a virtual simulation of a construction site. Within the building are nine site huts, in which students can be set tasks. There’s also a computerised virtual construction site on a big screen that students are able to explore. However, what really brings this place to life is that ACT-UK employs actors to interact with students on the construction site, and cause problems. This allows young people the chance to use their skills to resolve problems and disputes. This facility is also used by major construction organisations to help train their staff.
Although the cost of using the facilities at ACT-UK is quite high, the benefits are clear to see, in terms of engaging students, delivering parts of principal learning and developing PLTS.
I believe the practical experience gained from using facilities such as ACT- UK’s, coupled with the occupational information available to students through resources such as Diploma Liftoff, will enable young people to engage with their Diploma and have high career aspirations in their field of expertise.
I’m keen to hear about other places where young people have been able to gain quality hands-on Diploma learning experience. Please feel free to leave a comment.