Future Technologies Centre leads College to Beacon Award finals

Ruth Peterson | November 19, 2021

Bradford College has made it through as a finalist in the prestigious Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Awards.

The college has achieved recognition in the awards celebrating innovation and best practice in further education. Bradford College is one of three colleges to have reached the finals in the City and Guilds category for Engagement with Employers. this category celebrates exemplary practice in delivering provision that is responsive to the needs of employers.

In its first year alone, the Future Technologies Centre (FTC) has seen Bradford College join forces with 60 employers across six industries to build the tech workforce for the next generation.

Shaping the future generation

Vice Principal for Curriculum, Asa Gordon said: “Having only been established for just over a year, it is fantastic that the work the College is doing with employers through the FTC is being recognised.  We are delighted to have reached the finals of such a prestigious award and to also achieve the Beacon Standard in such a short period of time is exceptional. The partnership of employers and stakeholders in the FTC supports the College mission to transform lives, specifically linked to developing a curriculum that meets the needs of students, employers and the community.  We wish to thank all employers and stakeholders who have engaged for their commitment and support to the aims of the FTC and look forward to continuing to develop curriculum and projects that will continue to make the FTC a success.”

The Future Technologies Centre

The FTC is a network of specialist skills hubs linking regional and national employers, industry bodies and training providers.

Key to the FTC is the close partnerships between the college and education partners and employers. Through these partnerships, the FTC ensures that curriculum and training programmes are designed for the constantly evolving needs of workforces in those sectors.  The FTC also works with industry and regional partners to create skills pathways into education and employment.

The hubs are:

  • Sustainable Construction
  • Sustainable Transport
  • Allied and Medical Health
  • Engineering
  • Digital
  • Science

Each hub is chaired by a representative from organisations such as IMI, BAM Nuttall and DePuy Synthes (Johnson & Johnson).

Collaboration is key

Bradford College has partnered with Lucas Nuelle to offer the FTC cutting edge equipment and digital e-learning (online and VR) resources, designed to enable students to learn the skills needed by modern industry. They include Hybrid, Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle maintenance and repair. They also include calibration and diagnostics of automated driver assistance and autonomous driving systems and the installation and commissioning of renewable technologies.

Lucas Nuelle supports the college with the design and layout of the new FTC building. Bringing their experience and expertise in helping design centres for the likes of Audi and Porsche, the partnership ensures a ‘best in class’ environment for training the future digital, energy and automotive engineers in the region.

Supporting students

Through the skills hubs, students take part in employer masterclasses and mentoring as well as on-site and in-factory work experience. Kingsley Domfeh is among Motor Vehicle students supported through the Sustainable Transport hub. He won a Bradford College FE Student Award in July for Leadership and Peer-Support.

Thanks to his success on the Motor Vehicle course, Kingsley was chosen to attend a work trial. He went on to secure a two-year apprenticeship with Halfords Autocare. He said: “My parents said that whatever I put my mind to, I could do it. If somebody else is able to do it, I can too. I was able to push myself.”

Find out more about the Future Technologies Centre here

If you are an employer who wants to join one of the hubs, contact Ellen Lofthouse-Blundell at E.Lofthouse-Blundell@bradfordcollege.ac.uk.

Beacon Awards logo

AoC Beacon Awards

Association of Colleges’ Beacon Awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK colleges each year. The award supported by the City & Guilds seeks to recognise examples of colleges who are responsive to the needs of employers and their region, demonstrate a whole college approach and who demonstrate systematic networking and collaboration with other organisations.

Mark White OBE DL, Chair of AoC’s Charitable Trust said:

“The AoC Beacon Awards showcase exactly why colleges are so important to every community and why people value them. This award recognises a whole college approach to meeting the training, development and recruitment needs of many employers. The work of the finalist colleges and their engagement with employers show how vital they are to helping the economy develop skills for growth.”

Find out more about the finalists at Beacon Award Finalist Colleges 2021/22 — AoC College Awards 2021/22

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