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Corinne Crispin, principal tutor, Bright Futures and Louise Case, Quality Manager, Gateway Qualifications.

Bright Futures Training Centre is part of Harlow College and provides Adult training courses throughout the East of England.

They work with Gateway Qualifications for two of their Jobcentre Plus (JCP) contracts to prepare learners to gain a CSCS Green Card or a Door Supervisor Qualifications.

Learners referred from JCP are only allowed a limited amount of time and the centre was finding it challenging to meet JCP requirements, the learners’ needs and the Awarding Organisation’s qualification delivery requirements.

To help solve this problem, senior tutors from Bright Futures worked closely with Gateway Qualifications staff to build a course with units which would allow all three stakeholders’ needs to be met, without creating an unnecessary burden for the delivery centre.

"Having a direct link to the person who wrote the units was excellent. We were able to check exactly what was required to achieve the unit and had a greater freedom to select the right combination of units."

Corinne Crispin, principal tutor

Each member of staff designed a project for learners which would cover all the required learning outcomes. These projects were created to be directly related to the vocational area the learners are aspiring to work in.

Units chosen included some focused on looking for work whilst English and Maths units were embedded to ensure these skills were covered in a relevant vocational context.

Throughout the development Bright Futures was proactive in asking staff for feedback, good, bad and ugly. Corinne was keen to understand what worked well for tutors and what didn’t; whether tasks were taking too long or whether there wasn’t enough content to fill the time.

"We have exceptionally committed staff. It's not easy teaching in locations across a wide geographic area, working in pop-up classrooms where they have to set up and clear away every time. So it was critical to me that whatever we developed had to be tutor friendly - if it's not tutor friendly, the tutors will struggle to make it learner friendly."

Corinne Crispin, principal tutor

To help achieve this a “work pack” was created to provide clear links between learning outcomes and tasks.

“There was a mixed reception from staff. Some found it confusing and needed more support, others really embraced it and love it.”

“The message from Gateway Qualifications was that we needed to change what we were doing, but that they would help us. And they’ve been true to their word, Quality Manager Louise Case has been very supportive, taking the time to explain where Gateway Qualifications were coming from and why we needed to make certain changes.”

The changes have helped Bright Futures make more efficient use of their tutors time and meet both JCP and Awarding Organisation requirements, but most importantly they’ve improved things for the learners:

"Learners used to be reluctant to study English or Maths as they just wanted the CSCS Card or door supervisor qualification. They didn't see the point of the course. But now we've embedded those skills in a project which is directly related to their job, it makes it come alive. They're actually working on a project as a team and not just doing isolated activities."

Corinne Crispin, principal tutor