Mapping learning to employability at Waltham Forest College

Waltham Forest College

Industry and education have joined together on a workday at Waltham Forest College to develop a new and innovative electrical and testing facility for the College’s electrical installation students. The day saw three electrical companies on-site volunteering their time and expertise to help get the new workshop up and running.

Mark Allison from Power Sonic Electrical and Apprentice 121, along with two colleagues, worked on installing isolators for the workshop’s booths to ensure a safe working environment. He said: “It’s evident the amount of investment the College makes in providing safe, practical and innovative workspaces for vocational learners and our work here today will further assist them in creating their futures.”

The new workshop and classroom space have been designed to not only teach students the skills required on the curriculum but also additional electrical skills to prepare them for what they will encounter in the world of work, adding extra value to the course.

Ryan Davis from R Davis Electrical said: “I know what it’s like being an apprentice and then going out on your own encountering electrical systems you hadn’t trained on. The three-phase system I’ve helped to install is something many apprentices don’t get to work on so it’s great to see a college adding it to their training and allowing students to experience it beforehand.”

Part of this additional value is a commercial grade three-phase distribution board donated by Schneider, along with industry-standard surge protection device modules and metering equipment. This will allow students to get hands-on with understanding three-phase equipment learning skills not typically taught in a college environment.

The training facility has been developed in the same year Waltham Forest College was announced as the only College in London and one of only 12 in the UK as a national WorldSkills Centre of Excellence; The College now has access to world-class expertise and insights into global best practices that will be used to influence curriculum development.

Craig Buist, Head of Electrical Installation said: “At Waltham Forest College, we inspire excellence in teaching, learning and assessment and are advocates for world-class skills in every setting to support continuous improvement and innovation to develop high performing and qualified apprentices and students ready for work, and we are pleased to have industry experts’ involvement in this project.

The extra equipment installed will allow students to see how the real-world works allowing us to stretch their knowledge to elements that may be outside the qualification but are important for industry.”

Other companies that have donated equipment towards the project include Terlok, showcasing their studbite technology as a faster and more modern way to install cable trays, and AICO who have donated smoke detectors and carbon monoxide equipment for students to learn how to test.